The Case Centre’s top 40 bestselling cases

Twenty-ninth  - Toyota Motor Manufacturing, USA, Inc
The case
Case: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, USA, Inc Toyota Motor Manufacturing, USA, Inc
Authors: Kazuhiro Mishina and Kazunori Takeda
Institution: Harvard Business School
Ref: 9-693-019
Date published: 1992

On May 1, 1992, Doug Friesen, manager of assembly for Toyota's plant in Georgetown, Kentucky, faced the problem of an increasing number of cars that were sitting off-line with defective or missing seats. The situation was one of several that had required staff to work overtime, yet neither the reason for the problem nor a solution was readily apparent. The plant was an exemplar of Toyota's famed production system (TPS), so Friesen was determined to find a solution using TPS principles and tools. This case gives students the opportunity to discuss what Friesen should do and to analyse whether Georgetown's handling of the seat problem fitted within the TPS philosophy.

The authors

Kazuhiro Mishina is Professor of Strategy at Kobe University Graduate School of Business Administration, Japan.

Kazunori Takeda is now a Senior Executive Officer at Rakuten.

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