The Toyota Story

Once when I was in Kerala, I heard two relatives speaking about farming and one of them said, “Soon America will be telling us what to cultivate”. I could not understand why someone from America would tell a farmer in Kerala what to farm. In Kerala as in many parts of the world, Globalization equals America. Any change in the market forces are attributed directly to Uncle Sam. When you look from Kerala, it seems as if the White House or IMF or World Bank is just spending all their waking hours trying to screw the local farmers.
If Americans had control over this globalization, then so many American software engineers would not have lost jobs due to outsourcing and so many textile mills would not have closed. There is no point in whining, for globalization affects everyone. People who survive are the ones who have learned to take advantage of it.
For example, the personal car revolution started in United States and Detroit churned out aircraft carrier type mediocre cars till the invasion from Japan happened. The Japanese car makers took advantage of a global economy and created plants in America, employing American workers to create economical as well as fuel efficient cars. Recently the No.1 American car maker, GM, reported a loss of $1.1 billion, its worst quarterly performance since 1992.
While GM is losing marketshare, Toyota is gaining by doing things right and taking risks.

Despite the endless debate about what’s plaguing the U.S. auto industry

6 thoughts on “The Toyota Story

  1. All what the detroit car makers have been doing for quite sometime is playing catch up with the Japanese car makers even in the hybrid field. The Escape hybrid version which the Ford is bringing out has the hybrid technology bought from Toyota.

  2. probably there should be a hybrid in every drive way in 30 years. but still, will people fancy cars in 30 years? or will public transport make some headway, maybe metros will rule out even the biggest makers in a decade or so.
    There coulds still be competition to Toyota and the rest of the big players from countries like China ands Thailand which makes their own brands. some of us once thought wat else could china copy?…they have cars now…in every shape and they have a man power of 300 million who works for a dollar a day…thats something to think about

  3. The weekly blogside view of the Indian economy (12)
    Coverage of the Elephant’s trajectory: observations from the blogosphere. (This week: nominate your favourite blog to be included in this series…

  4. The Prius is really a worthy example to put your point across – that the Japs have been and still are leading when it comes to cutting edge trends in automobile technology. But there is no doubt in my mind that the Americans will play catch up and succeed. They always have. Take the supercomputer race for example – with the NEC Earth Simulator the Japs went so far ahead that it looked like they would never be second again. It took two years but now we have two US companies that are ahead of NEC.
    GM and the other two are now collaborating on a project that will reduce the wieght of a car by 70%. That combined with plans to release hybrid cars as well as hydrogen cars will put them in position to strongly compete against the Asian challengers. But yes, the competition is getting tougher, and we might see a change in the technology pecking order in our lifetimes.

  5. Is this IT revelution and IT outsourcing is part of the globalization? I dont think so. Computer is a production tool nowadays and so they went for cheap labor. It is not globalization. Am I correct?

  6. Sunil,
    Globalization involves movement of not just capital, but also labor. It India were a closed economy like North Korea, no one would have ventured to send jobs to India. The fact that cheap IT labor is now available for companies around the world in India, China, Philipines, Thailand etc. and jobs can moved around, is definitely due to globalization.
    While jobs are moved to these countries, companies in these countries buy computers and networking hardware from developed countries, thus making it a two way street.

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