Against All Odds: The Story of the Toyota Motor Corporation and the Family That Created It

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9780312097332: Against All Odds: The Story of the Toyota Motor Corporation and the Family That Created It

The Chairman of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. presents the remarkable history of the most efficient, most profitable automobile maker in the world and its revolutionary ""just-in-time"" production process, accompanied by sixteen pages of photographs.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A hit-and-run account of how Toyota grew from a small supplier of textile machinery into a world-class motor-vehicle manufacturer. In decidedly selective fashion, Togo (president of the company's US sales arm) and his American collaborator, Wartman (Playing Through, 1990, etc.), track the evolution of the Japanese colossus from its establishment in 1926 by Sakichi Toyoda up through its recent history. Along their apparently restricted way, the pair offer short takes on many significant corporate accomplishments, including development of just-in-time production techniques; commitment to kaizen (constant improvement); adoption of total quality control; amicable labor relations; and creation of the Lexus (which has made substantive inroads in luxury-car markets long dominated by BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz). Covered as well are Toyota's well-planned campaigns to gain a foothold in the US, including its fruitful joint venture with GM--but glossed over are such sensitive subjects as the company's contributions to Japan's military during WW II and its considerable debt to the export- oriented industrial policies of government agencies like MITI. Nor do the authors provide any detail on the so-called transplant factory Toyota has built in America's rural South, and conspicuous by its absence also is any assessment of the auto/truck-maker's aspirations in the EC, as well as in neighboring Asian countries, most notably China. These and allied omissions will leave many wondering whether Toyota (which now has a fourth generation of the founding family near the top of its organizational chart) is indeed a player in areas of the global economy outside of Japan and North America. Favorably skewed perspectives on a consequential enterprise whose unabridged story has yet to be told. (Sixteen pages of photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

One would certainly expect that a book co-written by the head of Toyota's U.S. sales division would present a sanitized version of the history of the Toyota Motor Corporation. That suspicion aside, the work is an interesting and complex history of the founding and phenomenal growth of the Toyota Company. The reader will learn how the Japanese car industry struggled against the pressure of foreign imports, the devastating effects of World War II, and the lack of manufacturing materials and skills. The development of the company's manufacturing process and other innovations it had to initiate to survive are discussed at length. The writing is well done and easy enough for general readers. Industry experts will probably not find anything new here, but for the merely curious the book provides solid insight into the Japanese automobile industry.
- Kenneth M. Locke, Radford, Va.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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