Bad news about the auto industry has been all over the news and Detroit executives are becoming regular visitors in Washington these days (no matter if they drive there or if they take the corporate jets…). While GM has had some time by now to get used to big losses, 2008 was a bad year even for industry darling Toyota. After years of dramatic growth in volume and in profits, Toyota now reports a multi-billion loss. Will Toyota be able to master this crisis “The Toyota Way?”. So far, all we know is that the company continues to honor its life time employment promise – the cost cutting so far has only affected temporal workers. Yet, vehicle inventory continues to grow and it is unclear how long Toyota can afford to produce more that it is able to sell.
See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/business/15toyota.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&sq=toyota&st=cse&scp=3 for some updates on Toyota, including their new management team