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

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When Toyota introduced its new Lexus luxury cars in the United States in 1989, many experts predicted the line would sell poorly. Although journalists raved about the cars, skeptics insisted Americans would never pay thirty-five thousand dollars for any Japanese car - regardless of its acknowledged quality and value. But Toyota's innovative marketing and obsession with customer satisfaction soon made Lexus the top imported luxury car in the United States. Against All Odds is the incredible saga of how the family of an obscure Japanese textile-machine inventor revolutionized automobile production methods, while building a company that Fortune magazine has called "the best car maker in the world." Improvising such now-famous techniques as kaizen (or continuous improvement) and just-in-time production, and staying one step ahead of insolvency, the company worked incessantly to control costs - foreshadowing today's international business creed. But it wasn't until Toyota - whose early models were often fraught with defects - added total quality-control to its lean production methods that the company found real success with its early Corollas and Coronas. Against All Odds shows how the forces of necessity, fierce domestic competition, and Japanese provincial values combined to influence the development of the third largest auto manufacturer. It takes readers behind the mystery that has always shrouded Japanese corporations. There they'll discover the colorful personalities who built Toyota, and who helped to transform a country with a short industrial history into the second capital of the automotive world. This tale of personal determination and family rivalries is played out against the backdrop of Japan's political and economic development - and its relations with the United States. The massive shadow of the U.S. auto makers is omnipresent, teaching Toyota that an underdog in an industry of giants could only succeed by giving customers more than they wanted for l

260 pages, Hardcover

First published November 1, 1993

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Profile Image for Anil Gupta.
9 reviews
August 21, 2019
There are legend companies. Companies that have set new Engineering and Excellence standards. The companies that have demonstrated how to rule the world with constant perseverance, excellence, innovation, and continuous improvement.
Agile approach is so popular in the software industry today. The roots of this approach somewhere goes back to the "Toyota Production system", "Just In Time approach", the Kaizen and Continuous improvement, and Total Quality Management.
All of these industry buzzwords that we talk now, all of these approaches are contributed by Toyota -- in its journey of more than about 100 years now. Toyota as a brand in automobile came much later than many popular brands like Ford, GM, Crystler etc. Still they were able to capture Industry leadership and provide the world the quality products with affordable prices.
Offcourse, like most, the Toyota journey to its success has not been free from troubles and obstacles. There have been many times when the company actually were on the edge of bankruptcy. How to create opportunities against the odds, and how to ride on them..
Profile Image for Wolfgang.
90 reviews2 followers
October 31, 2020
Ich war auf der Suche nach der Motivation von Lean, Kanban und Just-in-Time. In dem Buch wurde ich fündig. Und obwohl das Buch eigentlich eine Firmenbiographie ist, ist es eines der besten Management-Bücher, das ich in den letzten paar Jahren gelesen habe. Und das waren einige.
October 7, 2021
Amazing story for the beginning, development and success of Toyota -the biggest car producer in the world. Perseverance matter!
25 reviews3 followers
October 20, 2007
A large biography of the company, from its origins until the 1980's. Not a horrible read either, especially if you like cars or reading about businesses. However, Eiji Toyoda's book (Toyota: Fifty Years in Motion) is a bit better read, although sometimes less helpful.
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