Executive Briefings

Quality Problems Put Unfavorable Spotlight on Toyota Production System

Despite its fabled Toyota Production System, quality issues have put some strain on the carmaker's drive to the top of the heap. In the past couple of years, a series of un-Toyota-like quality problems have begun to nibble away at the firm's reputation as the world's most admired manufacturer and as a byword for reliable vehicles. In July 2006, after some conspicuous product recalls, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe bowed in apology and promised to fix things with a "customer first" program that would redirect engineering resources and, if necessary, lengthen development times. But the recalls have continued and Toyota is still slipping in consumer-quality surveys. The company's global head of manufacturing, Takeshi Uchiyamada, recently expressed "shame" at the problems with the latest Tundra full-size pick-up.
Source: Economist, http://www.economist.com

Despite its fabled Toyota Production System, quality issues have put some strain on the carmaker's drive to the top of the heap. In the past couple of years, a series of un-Toyota-like quality problems have begun to nibble away at the firm's reputation as the world's most admired manufacturer and as a byword for reliable vehicles. In July 2006, after some conspicuous product recalls, Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe bowed in apology and promised to fix things with a "customer first" program that would redirect engineering resources and, if necessary, lengthen development times. But the recalls have continued and Toyota is still slipping in consumer-quality surveys. The company's global head of manufacturing, Takeshi Uchiyamada, recently expressed "shame" at the problems with the latest Tundra full-size pick-up.
Source: Economist, http://www.economist.com