A new report offers interesting figures about the gap between
Prepared by the Harbour-Felax Group, a consulting firm, the report notes, as one example of the figures, that Toyota has a profit-per-vehicle advantage over competitors ranging from $1,570 (over Chrysler) to $2,985 (over GM). The advantage over Ford is $2,165.
The usual suspects are lined up here: Steep discounts and incentives offered by the
All of this is true, and there is value in what Harbour-Felax group has done, providing details and numbers that bring into focus areas to be addressed.
But the real issue is the fact that the Japanese follow a lean strategy. Lean is an integral part of their corporate DNA. It is how they think.
Consider two items in the report. It notes that “Kaizen, or continuous improvement, remains a driving force for the Japanese automakers.
Another section of the report discusses flexibility: “Maximum assembly flexibility, where more than one platform can be built in one body shop and on one assembly line, requires common body architecture and common assembly standards.
These two statements are both absolutely true, but the real question is why? Why, for so long, have the Japanese been focused on continuously reducing costs and improving flexibility? It’s because they think that way, and their
Perhaps the most telling section of the report is this one, labeled Investing for the Future:
We often hear how the Japanese are more focused on the long term. Those figures are the evidence.
In a posting commenting on the Harbour-Felax report, fellow blogger
I agree completely. I would suggest that until
By the way, the report also offers a pessimistic view of the outlook for