Quality Management – Toyota
Essay Preview: Quality Management – Toyota
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Running Head: Quality Management-Toyota
Toyota Motor Corporation is the current leading producer of vehicles across the globe (Hoovers, 2011). It has occupied position after it overtook the major car manufactures, General Motors and Ford Company. Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japan based company which has sought to expand its production across the globe. It headquarters are in Toyota City in Japan (Hoovers, 2011). Toyotas product line is quite extensive as it lays focus on the production of the vehicle of different designs. Among the vehicles that are produced by the company include: SUVs, trucks, minivans, buses among other wide range of products in the market (Hoovers, 2011). The cars that are produced in the market are based on two formulas of production. Firstly, there is the combustion method and secondly, there is the hybrid system. Such unique aspects of the company have been used in the definition of the company in its uniqueness. In addition to the production of the vehicle as complete units, the company also makes spare parts for use internally and for sale to other companies. Most of the unique brands that have propelled the company to the top position in the market include: Lexus, Land Cruiser, Corolla and Camry (Hoovers, 2011).
In the historical perspective, Toyota has accomplished major milestones in its structure and operations. This has been in terms of the overall organizational structure and the products offered in the market. The initial operations of the company were recorded as early as 1933 (New York Times, 2010). This is a time that one of the companys inventor, Sachiki Toyoda, sought to develop an automatic loom maker in the Toyota industries. However, it was not until 1935, that the first car of Toyota was realized. It was the Model G1 truck. With time, other models such as the AA were established with the company expanding its operations to other counties such as Thailand and Brazil. The year 1972 saw an increase in the production capacity of the company in Japan as it hit the 10 million markets. In the year 1984, the company established its firm operations in the U.S (New York Times, 2010).
The desirable fate of the company was realized at time lapsed with the major development that involved the increase in the production capacity and expansion strategies. The company recorded its 100 million unit production in Japan in 1999. Other major developments include the acquisitions of other car manufacturers such as Hino Motors. The sales volumes of the company exceeded those of Ford Company in 2003 to become the second globally. Further, the Toyota Company became leading car manufacturer globally in 2006 after overtaking General Motors in terms of sales with more than 120, 000 being recorded in terms of sales (New York Times, 2010). Today, the company has established more than 40 assembly units globally. It currently employs more than 300, 000 employees across the world (New York Times, 2010).
With such a remarkable record, it is considered that such a company would have no major problem in its operations. Conversely to this notion, the company has been recently experiencing major quality issues in its vehicles. This has been recorded through the massive customer complaints and the management decisions that have been made by the company globally. This research focuses of the quality management issues that have been facing Toyota and how they could be addressed.
The major issue that has been record at Toyota has been mainly as result of the high levels of internal failures in the vehicles. The equipments in some parts of the cars manufactured by the company have been found to be faulty by the consumers in the market thus expressing their concerns in regard to quality. This issues relating to the quality of the vehicles of Toyota started in 2009 (Chandran, 2011). At this time, the company received complaints from the consumers that the mats in a significant percentage of the cars sold at the time were laid done improperly. In reaction to this, the company recalled approximately 4 million cars in relation to this issue (Chandran, 2011). The intention of the company was to ensure that the issue is sorted out so as to restore the confidence of the consumers. Not long after the recall of the fist bunch of cars did the consumers also noticed that the accelerator pedals on some of the cars produced got stuck regularly. This also implied that the company had to take action of solving the issue. In response, Toyota recalled an additional 8,000,000 vehicle in relation to this problem (Chandran, 2011).
To add to the misfortunes of the company, some of the models of cars produced at a similar period were found to be faulty on the brakes system. The models that had these problems included: Prius, Lexus HS 250s and the Sai Models (Chandran, 2011). These developments impacted negatively on the performance of the company to a significantly huge extent. The impacts could be evaluated in terms of the lost sales that the company recorded at that time. A range of 80,000-100,000 in terms of lost sales was estimated to have been experienced by the company in the first quarter of 2010 (See Appendix 2). Financially, this is a major setback in the context of the company as it puts the market position of the company in an incongruous level. To add to the list of the quality issues in the company, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noted some mishaps in the recent models in 2009 and 2010. The main concern of the NHTSA is that the Corollas produced at this time had a problem with the steering wheel (Chandran, 2011).
Due to the immense quality management issues that Toyota is facing, there is need for the adoption of effective strategies that will be aimed at addressing the concerns. This implies that there is need for Toyota to aim at eliminating the mishaps in its vehicles. This is an important aspect that will play significant role in restoring the confidence of the consumers in the market. Currently, the consumers in the market are having shaky positions in relation to the commitment of Toyota to offer high quality cars in the market. The most noteworthy aspect is that Toyota has been known for the production of high quality cars that only have limited mechanical if any and related problems. This is among the factors that have escalated the market position of the company to the heights that it occupies today. It is therefore critical for the quality management department at Toyota to ensure that the