From 0 to 60 to World Domination

Via Diego: the NYT has this great article on Toyota, “From 0 to 60 to World Domination”

Diego’s take on it:

How does Toyota win? By becoming an evidence-based culture with an eye to the long view. By investing in incremental innovations to build long-term brand equity, and investing the payback in revolutionary innovations like the Prius. By paying attention to technical details and to the humans who design and build the cars and those who service and drive them.

Bruce Nussbaum elaborates the business model innovation side of it all, and calls for action:

The most important thing to remember is that Toyota has a way of thinking. It’s not just a series of processes or incentives or targets. It’s a philosophy, a way of looking at life.
Message to Detroit: it’s not about talking about innovation. It’s not even about new technologies. It’s about building a new culture along with new cars. Britain pretty much lost its auto industry because it couldn’t adapt. This is the last chance.

In regard to how the big three suffer, and what might be answers and starting-points for innovation, listen also to Knowledge@Wharton’s podcast with John Paul MacDuffie, management professor at Wharton and co-director of the International Motor Vehicle Program, about the state of the auto industry.

2006 was the first year since 1991 that Detroit’s Big Three were all in the red. Ford’s situation seems direr than ever; Chrysler, which was profitable until mid 2006, is now preparing a restructuring plan to roll out this month; and Toyota has claimed the number-two spot in the U.S. auto market, just behind GM. Knowledge@Wharton asked MacDuffie whether he expects any surprises, or new strategies, in 2007. (“The Auto Industry: On the Road to Disaster or Recovery?”)

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