Volkswagen Passat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,885 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A Modern Parable:

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 peop le row ing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacat ion days for practices and bo nuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, The End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US . The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads.

IF THIS WEREN'T SO TRUE IT MIGHT BE FUNNY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,181 Posts
You know, GM and Toyota both set out to create a new division in the mid-80's. GM went for an inexpensive import fighter (mind you, they already had the bestselling compact car at the time, the Cavalier), while Toyota gunned for Benz.

By the time the early 90's rolled around, GM came out with a mediocre compact car while Toyota came out with a luxury car that boasted of wood finished by the Yamaha Piano Company and Levinson Sound Systems. GM's cars got 30 mpg, and cracked if hit in the cold weather. Lexus get 24 mpg, weighed twice as much and had safety in spades (for the time). GM caught no one off guard - even with a nifty selling scheme, and fell good ads for Spring Hill, TN - while Toyota FLATTENED Benz and other luxury companies' sales for a long, long time. (Admittedly, Nissan FUBAR'd the launch of Infiniti the same time.)

Guess what? GM OUTSPENT Toyota and got far, far less in return.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,164 Posts
True, and still funny.
 

·
Punches Dubs. True Story
Joined
·
9,982 Posts
It's a cultural thing.

Japanese companies - in addition to having quarterly budgets and annual forecasts - will put out five-year, ten-year and twenty-year business plans.

American companies - in addition to having quarterly budgets and annual forecasts - will react to what the Japanese did last month and ignore what's coming up in the future.

Reactionary business "plans" are a terrible idea. (In case you didn't go to business school, I thought I'd share that tidbit with you.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,730 Posts
I think this parable is only partially true.

The Japanese have a lighter canoe to row because they pay like 5 years of retirement benefits whereas the American canoe is saddled down with a shitload of lifetime retirement benefits. It's harder to paddle a heavier canoe.

This is something that should have been changed years and years ago. I have never, in my lifetime, worked for a company that offers "lifetime" medical and retirement benefits. I've been funding my own 401k since I started in the workforce 20 years ago.
 

·
Lefties have rights, too!
Joined
·
15,696 Posts
However, the Japanese are having a hard time cracking into the European market like they did in the US. While I'm sure some of it is tariff related mostly Europeans just don't like Japanese cars.

However, Ford just about rules in England and GM does pretty well in Europe. So why can't Americans fingure out Americans?:crazy: Perhaps they should hire some Japanese consultants?:thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,564 Posts
This is a sad state of affairs but I think Sullie might of hit the nail on the head. Like him, I started immediately with a 401K plan back around 1980; as it is today, free money from the employer was incentive enough. While the stock crash of 2000 rendered most of my saving to the basic cash I put it, it did rebound.

But the "old school" of retirement is changing. Already this year (or was it last?) IBM did away with lifetime retirement and is now evanglizing 401K's. I suspect many other big companies will follow. But it might be too little too late? It woulnd't be a stretch to someday see Ford bought out by Toyota (or buyout GM since they're tighter).
 

·
what the heck is an echo of gecko anyways...
Joined
·
1,960 Posts
The Japanese have a lighter canoe to row because they pay like 5 years of retirement benefits whereas the American canoe is saddled down with a shitload of lifetime retirement benefits. It's harder to paddle a heavier canoe.

This is something that should have been changed years and years ago. I have never, in my lifetime, worked for a company that offers "lifetime" medical and retirement benefits. I've been funding my own 401k since I started in the workforce 20 years ago.
This might be true, if a huge portion of Toyota's workforce wasn't American.

But Toyota (and other foreign car makers, like BMW) located their factories in Right to Work states to avoid the unfair burden unions place on the company.
 

·
Rogue Assassin
Joined
·
2,977 Posts
...However, Ford just about rules in England and GM does pretty well in Europe. So why can't Americans fingure out Americans?:crazy: Perhaps they should hire some Japanese consultants?:thumbup:
Perhaps they should import the European models as is (across-the-board) and plug them in to replace all current passenger car and minivan offerings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,720 Posts
.... Already this year (or was it last?) IBM did away with lifetime retirement and is now evanglizing 401K's. I suspect many other big companies will follow.
My cousin put in 20years at IBM. All along he knew he would have to quit and go somewhere else because he got no healthcare in retirement. Because of healthcare(diabetic wife), he will have to retire from a gov job or work til medicare kicks in.
 

·
6th Grade
Joined
·
14,917 Posts
My cousin put in 20years at IBM. All along he knew he would have to quit and go somewhere else because he got no healthcare in retirement. Because of healthcare(diabetic wife), he will have to retire from a gov job or work til medicare kicks in.
Well, she should have laid off the Twinkies and he never should have married her if he couldn't affort her.. Its called personal responsibility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,720 Posts
And your still single? :p

BTW, she is type 1 and had it before they were married.
It has been a miracle that they have had 2 beautiful girls(one is my goddaughter).
They live a very healthy lifestyle too.

I built that for my goddaughter^^ :D
 

·
6th Grade
Joined
·
14,917 Posts
No one should need to be told this when I write something that sounds lifted straight from talk radio, but you need to adjust your sarcometer a bit.
 

·
I'm Urlik's Hero
Joined
·
9,783 Posts
However, the Japanese are having a hard time cracking into the European market like they did in the US. While I'm sure some of it is tariff related mostly Europeans just don't like Japanese cars.

However, Ford just about rules in England and GM does pretty well in Europe. So why can't Americans fingure out Americans?:crazy: Perhaps they should hire some Japanese consultants?:thumbup:
Japanese cars are extremely popular in the UK.

"Ford just about rules in England" - huh?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,270 Posts
No one should need to be told this when I write something that sounds lifted straight from talk radio, but you need to adjust your sarcometer a bit.
Sharky's an asshole. Look at his haircut. Anybody with a haircut like that, you know he’s an asshole.



Just kidding Sharky.
 

·
Punches Dubs. True Story
Joined
·
9,982 Posts
This might be true, if a huge portion of Toyota's workforce wasn't American.
BTW, I absolutely have to call bullshit on this. I just wanted to make sure I could substantiate the numbers before I said anything ...

Total worldwide Toyota workforce: 299,400 (as of March 2007)
Total U.S. Toyota workforce: 23,400 (as of May 2007)

That's about 7.8% of the total workforce. That does not fit the definition of "huge" by any stretch of the imagination.

Okay, I'm done.
 

·
what the heck is an echo of gecko anyways...
Joined
·
1,960 Posts
BTW, I absolutely have to call bullshit on this. I just wanted to make sure I could substantiate the numbers before I said anything ...

Total worldwide Toyota workforce: 299,400 (as of March 2007)
Total U.S. Toyota workforce: 23,400 (as of May 2007)

That's about 7.8% of the total workforce. That does not fit the definition of "huge" by any stretch of the imagination.

Okay, I'm done.
Congrats on finding numbers that really don't prove anything. My point was that GM isn't failing because of American labor practices, as evident by Toyota moving much of their manufacturing labor pool (and all of their manufacturing labor for some models) to the states. Toyota wouldn't be opening factories in the US if America as a whole was not cost effective.

GM is failing because of mismanagement, with a healthy helping of UAW demands.

BTW, the remaining employees of the 299,400 are not all in Japan. Japan has 40,900 employees (15% of worldwide). 57% as many employees in the US as Japan seems pretty huge to me, especially when you consider they are still building new plants in the states (IE the Highlander plant in Mississippi).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
If 22% of Toyota's employees work in the states and japan where do the other 78% work? They can't all be making shoes in Indonesia. Can they?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top