Monday, December 26, 2005
The GM Debacle and what to learn from Toyota
If you open any newspaper today, you most likely will find an article about General Motors GM, explaining – or at least trying to explain – in detail why GM is currently in such desolate situation. To make it even more interesting, some of these articles compare GM & Ford with Japanese car manufacturers - mainly with Toyota - and they try to explain the differences: Why is it that GM and Ford are losing market share in breathtaking speed and Toyota gains double digit market shares at the same time?
Depending on what paper or magazine you open, commonly used explanations for GM’s current situation include:
- Huge pension liabilities dated back to the times when lots of money was made on cards and significant commitments toward the unions were made so everyone could have a happy life
- Enormous health cost liabilities to their current and retired workers, totaling up together with the pension liabilities to $2,500 - $3,500 per car
- Higher overall costs in North America that cannot compete with Asian costs
- Independent dealer network who “does not know how to sell cars…”
- Extremely good marketing of Toyota that makes cars increasingly attractive
- GM’s “gas guzzlers”, especially the SUV’s in combination with increasing gas prices make consumers more sensible
- Toyota is subsidized by the Japanese government with consequential lower total costs per car
- Toyotas hybrid cars – that are also subsidized by the Japanese government – take GM’s market away
- etc. etc.
Only to make it clear, this is not my opinion!
The current GM situation is surely not easy to handle, since certain actions should have been taken years or decades ago and – to make it even worse – GM’s recovering strategy is still not clear. GM is experiencing – and Ford as well - a situation or better “the effects of causes" that lie much deeper than obvious.
How is this possible?
Well, Toyota - they say the world’s #1 car manufacturer in 2010, but Daniel T. Jones just announced that that already “this year Toyota will almost certainly overtake GM to become the number one in the global car industry” - has developed a unique and extremely successful enterprise philosophy over the last almost 50 years! This so called “Toyota Production System TPS” is primarily based on Lean & Six Sigma principals but most importantly TPS managed to address the “Human Factor” and consequently the company culture in a remarkable way.
Please go to http://www.juergenboenisch.blogspot.com/ to read the whole story. Your comments are welcome!