In this twelfth chapter of his book “How Toyota Became #1: Leaderships Lessons from the World’s Greatest Car Company”, David Magee recounts the story of Toyota’s transformation from a Japanese company to a truly global corporation.
Although Toyota had endeavored to sell cars throughout the world, it was only when they built manufacturing facilities in North America, Europe, Brazil and China that they established an interlocking system of local and regional presences throughout the world. This push towards global manufacturing was an ironic byproduct of the Big 3’s push to have the U.S. Government limit exports of Japanese vehicles to the United States.
Toyota treats each operational and manufacturing facility throughout the world as its own mini-corporate headquarters, which each taking on the responsibility of contributing to the surrounding communities. Toyota treats its worldwide expansion like a blueprint, but each localized realization of that overall vision requires the careful execution of hundreds or even thousands of small tasks. This simultaneous focus on the large blueprint and the myriad individual parts that compose it one of the secrets to Toyota’s success.
1. Build Products Where Products Are Sold