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The Toyota Way by Jeffrey Liker

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Preface

In 1982 when I first arrived as a new assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, the automotive industry was in serious turmoil in the midst of a national recession. The situation seemed dire. The Ford Motor company was seriously flirting with bankruptcy. The Big 3 were losing market share fast.

There was a lot of debate at the time over the root cause. The party line among Detroit auto executives was that the cause was the "Japanese invasion." Japan, Inc. had banded together with industry and government colluding to set up trade barriers to prevent American cars from being sold in Japan and artificially lowering prices of Japanese cars in the United States. Of course, in the minds of U.S. companies, as long as the ...

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