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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

Toyota Product Recall: Does Quantity and Quality Go Hand-in-Hand?

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: S Paul, I Chakraborty

Industry: Automobiles


Case Code: TRT0108IRC

Teaching Note:  Available

Structured Assignment:  Available

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Toyota Motor Corporation, a leading automobile manufacturer, was incorporated in Japan in the late 1930s. Over the years Toyota grew by developing its own production concepts like the Toyota Production System, commonly known as TPS. The company focused on quality and conceptualised unique management practices such as Kaizen. Soon the company became the second largest automaker of the world (after General Motors Corporation). In early 2007, Toyota overtook General Motors in terms of the number of cars sold globally. However, at the same time, it faced quality problems and made two product recalls involving 470,000 cars in Japan and 15,600 Tundra pick up cars in the US. Analysts were speculative whether Toyota could maintain its high growth rate in terms of production and also sustain its reputation as a high quality car manufacturer.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To get an insight on the growth and evolution of Toyota Motor Corporation as a leading manufacturer of cars.
  • To understand the quality problems faced by Toyota.
  • To analyse whether quality and quantity go hand-in-hand.

Keywords : Toyota Motors; Quality; Quantity; Japan; Kaizen; Second largest auto manufacturer; Toyota Production System; Kanban; Just-in-time; 5S Approach (Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke); The Toyota Way; Jidoka; Product recall; Pickup truck; Sports utility vehicle


  • Toyota Motors Corporation: A Brief Profile
  • Quality Issues Marring Toyota

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