It is well known that Toyota’s undisputed leadership in automotive product and component Quality, Reliability and Durability (QRD) that is achieved in a lean, low cost manner is one of the key factors that fueled their dramatic growth in global and U.S. market share. This growth has made headline news as it has come at the expense of the U.S. auto industry, resulting in an economic meltdown that has driven many OEMs and suppliers into bankruptcy, led to government bailouts, and created record regional unemployment throughout the Midwest. As in many market segments, customers expect and demand performance, value and high QRD. If you are not meeting these customer expectations, you are at risk for losing your market.
The methods and tools of the Toyota Production System (TPS) that produced unrivaled manufacturing quality were revealed to the world in the book The Toyota Way by Professor Jeffrey Liker of the University of Michigan. Similarly, Toyota’s engineering methods were studied and documented in books such as Product Development for the Lean Enterprise – Why Toyota’s System is Four Times More Productive and How You Can Implement It by Michael Kennedy and The Toyota Product Development System by James Morgan and Jeffery Liker.