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CCTV-9: Toyota’s Troubles

February 10, 2010

I was on CCTV-9’s “Dialogue” last night, talking about Toyota’s worldwide recalls and whether they spell the end of Japan’s reputation for quality manufacturing.  We also discussed the role politics has played in the U.S. response to Toyota’s troubles, and what lessons other companies can draw from the experience.  My fellow guest was Dr. Edward Tse, the head of Booz & Co. for Greater China.  You can watch the show by clicking here.

 

Toyota’s difficulties have generated a lot of interest in China.  This past year, China replaced the U.S. as Japan’s top trading partner.  China is an incredibly important market for Japanese goods, and Japanese brands are generally held in high regard.  Toyota’s latest recalls included cars sold in China, just as China’s automobile market has surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest.  Toyota’s difficulties also strike a chord due to the many recent quality scandals involving products made in China.  They are all the more relevant considering the aspirations several Chinese automakers have to replicate Toyota’s success and begin exporting their own cars to America — a dream so far frustrated by their inability to meet U.S. quality and safety standards.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Hua Qiao permalink
    February 11, 2010 9:08 am

    Patrick:

    As per the WSJ article on Toyota recently, I also think the message to Chinese companies also ought to be the obsession with revenue volume and size, being number 1 in sales, is not a prudent goal if such a goal comes at the expense of quality.

    Most well run companies would question being number one in revenue size unless such a position improved shareholder value. Although it seems this is a concept China’s SOE companies have yet to embrace since the government is the principal shareholder.

    Profitability concerns aside, perhaps the lesson of quality short cuts will sink in.

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