Essay: Process Identification

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Toyota Process Improvements

Toyota Summary

Despite its many struggles, Toyota has become a global behemoth in the automobile, as well as other, industries around the world. Indeed, they have jostled back and forth between General Motors (GM) as the largest automobile manufacturer in the world and they dwarf GM in total revenue. However, even as their own former executives will point out, that growth and success has come at a very steep cost with the recent acceleration malfunctions that some of their cars have experienced (Yahoo, 2013).

Temporarily setting aside their recent travails, Toyota's overall performance and history is quite impressive. They are fairly distant from their apex, which occurred in 2007 just prior to the global recession, but Toyota's stock price is quite high. After peaking at just above $100 USD in 2001, there was a noticeable swoon from 2002 to 2003, but the stock came roaring back from 2003 to 2007, peaking at nearly $140 USD in 2007. The stock has since fallen off and went as low as just over $60 USD per share after its peak, but the stock is currently on an upswing and currently sits at just over $100 USD per share as of the writing of this summary (Yahoo, 2013).

Toyota has more than 325,000 employees worldwide and boasts annual revenues of $276 billion USD. None of their competitors are even close to this, with GM being at $152 billion and Ford being at $134 billion USD. It should be noted that much of Toyota's revenues come from areas other than passenger cars, not unlike their Japanese counterparts Honda and Mitsubishi. Toyota's enterprise value, as of late February, stands at nearly half a trillion (yes, that's a "T") and they do so on a profit margin of just over 3.5%. Their operating margin is 2.84% (Yahoo, 2013).

Toyota Process Improvements

Toyota has engaged in a number of processes over recent years and many are described in the case study that is the basis for this assignment. Toyota in prior years has had a very hard road to travel due to the lingering perceptions regarding hostilities between the United States and Japan during World War II, but those are starting to fade. A total of three processes will be summarized and analyzed.

Internationalization/Localization

As noted in the introduction, many people are cognizant of the fact that Toyota is at its genesis a Japanese car company. Indeed, the case study notes that most decisions of import are made in Japan, not the United States. However, the case study also notes that great efforts have been undertaken to "localize" Toyota as an American car company. Indeed, Toyota has a significant United States presence and a lot of Toyota cars and trucks sold in the United States are made there, or at least nearby elsewhere in North America. The efforts have had good results as many modern car buyers focus on quality and performance when buying cars and they are less centered (as compared to past generations) on the country of origin of the company who makes the car. Some say that the fact that the cars are made here makes it just about as American as Ford and GM even if the ownership is not all domestic.

Toyota should continue driving home the fact that much of what goes into an American-driven Toyota is indeed American in terms of who puts the cars together and who sells/markets them as well. Toyota has (and needs to continue) to stay away from nationalism and patriotism because Ford and GM will win that argument every day of the week. Chrysler has lost some standing because they are owned in large part by a foreign car company (Fiat).

The benefits of this strategy are obvious. More Toyotas being sold means more safer cars and this is for the betterment of all Americans and this is a point they should focus on. Many people crave the notoriously safe cars of BMW and Mercedes, but Toyota can position themselves as a cheaper alternative and they can also push their luxury Lexus line as an option that can be chosen instead of the pricy exotics. The impacts to the organization are higher sales and more repeat buyers, assuming that Toyota keeps their quality and safety principles intact. This leads into the major opportunity. The case study notes… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/process-identification/5731192.