Business 2.0, 1 Jul 2006
Why He Matters: High oil prices? Toyota says, Bring it on. In May, as the average cost of a gallon of gas approached $3, Toyota reported a 17 percent sales increase over the year before, even as General Motors and Ford saw declines of 16 and 2 percent, respectively. Building on the continuing popularity of its fuel-sipping Prius, Toyota now offers hybrid gas-electric power in its Camry (the best-selling car model in the United States) and its Highlander SUV. Sales of the company's gasoline-powered small cars have been strong as well. Cho helped make Toyota what it is today: the world's most profitable carmaker and an unrivaled leader when it comes to producing the innovative, high-quality cars that buyers covet worldwide. He led Toyota's effort to open its own U.S. factories in the 1980s and later went on to engineer the company's push into the emerging markets of Eastern Europe and China. And while he isn't the boss of the world's biggest automaker yet -- Toyota won't snatch the global vehicle-output crown from GM until later this year or next -- he already leads the company that other automakers watch with a mixture of awe and envy.
In 2002, in an interview, Fujio Cho said:
- We place the highest value on actual implementation and taking action. (Agile Principle #1)
- There are many things one doesn’t understand the therefore, we ask them why don’t you just go ahead and take action? (Agile Principle #3, #11)
- You realize how little you know and you face your own failures and redo it again and at the second trial you realize another mistake … so you can redo it once again. (Agile Principle #11, #12)
- So by constant improvement … one can rise to the higher level of practice and knowledge. (Agile Principle #3)