Toyota’s Sin: Success

by | Feb 15, 2007 | Business

Remember the governments case against Microsoft? Well now Toyota has made the cardinal sin of succeeding too much in business and it appears it will meet with a similar fate.

“Toyota Motor Corp. is bracing for possible political and consumer backlash caused by its rapid U.S. growth, according to an internal report obtained by the Free Press.

“Toyota executives have publicly downplayed the importance of predictions that the Japan-based company will pass General Motors Corp. this year as the world’s largest automaker. But the Toyota report says the company could face criticism because its U.S. sales are increasing while Detroit’s automakers are losing sales and shuttering plants.” [Toyota fears U.S. backlash over gains]

This is amazing. Let’s say a company produces a product that year after year is rated as the best quality product for its price on the market. Its engineers and managers are able to consistently produce it in such a way that high quality variations of the product are available at all levels of the price spectrum. It builds a global distribution network over the course of decades to makes this product available globally to the delight of its customers. Its commitment to excellence over a long period enhance its reputation and allows it to surpass the best competition in the world.

Should they be acknowledged, praised and receive an award? If this were a sport wouldn’t they be inducted into the hall of fame or given a gold medal if it were The Olympics? Imagine the indignant protests that would be heard if Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods were hated for their achievements and critics were to attribute their success over a career to something banal as “cheating.” And then imagine the reaction if the government were to step in and perhaps force Tiger to use a wooden driver or make him play with K-mart golf balls to “level the playing field”. Or perhaps they force an increase in rim height when Jordan shoots a jumper.

This seems laughable, right – unless your a business.

Remember the governments case against Microsoft? Well now Toyota has made the cardinal sin of succeeding too much in business and it appears it will meet with a similar fate.

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Doug Reich blogs at the The Rational Capitalist with commentary, analysis, and links upholding reason, individualism, and capitalism.

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