Chapter 6

Toyota’s Road to Supremacy

When the decision is made to act, we move fast in execution because everyone is already fully bought in and in accord.

—Jim Press, former president of Toyota Motor North America

No other statistic tells the story of American manufacturing’s post–World War II surge than the automobile industry. In 1950, U.S. car manufacturers dominated the global market with 80 percent of the world’s automobile production rolling off the assembly lines of Ford, General Motors (GM), and Chrysler. That’s right: eight of every ten cars manufactured 60 years ago were “Made in USA” beauties, with classics like the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham (which cost a whopping $13,000 back in 1957), the envy of every global denizen. In 1955, ...

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