Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dear Toyota: 3rd World Suppliers = 3rd World Quality = Lost Customers

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Japan, Inc. use to mean QUALITY. Parts and assemblies USED to be rigorously tested. Even 'edge tested', for those who know what that means.

Defective parts were not tolerated, they were replaced. "The customer is God." Remember that?

As soon as I heard the lame excuses about 'weak springs' and 'shimming the assemblies' I knew that Toyota had given up on the quality standards that made Japan so formidable in the 90s; that they had acquiesced to the Indian slapdash shoddiness of 'Jugaad':

"Toyota has a very close tie with its hand-picked suppliers. It's like a parent in a big family and the children actually depends on Toyota for a living," said Kevin Chen, president of, a major Chinese B2B auto parts trading platform.

"If Toyota gets the flu, its suppliers will also be sneezing."

International supply companies were most at risk, said Tatsuya Mizuno, President of Mizuno Credit Advisory.

"Of course, there will be negative implications. But if the company recognizes that this problem was caused because of international parts-suppliers, then it's conceivable that they could switch to Japanese parts-suppliers," he told financial television service, Reuters Insider.

India's Amtek Auto, which supplies some parts to Toyota in the United States, did not expect a major impact from the shutdown there.

"Our exposure to the U.S. has already come down by 50 to 60 percent in the last one year due to the slowdown and recession," said Finance Director Santosh Singhi. "Toyota recalls have been happening over a period of time so we have been prepared for shut-downs."

[From WRAPUP 2-US Congress probes Toyota recalls as impact spreads]

In other words, our 3rd world friends were prepared for such blowback and took it into consideration. At least the Indians were, because they always seem to disappoint in situations like this. The Chinese suppliers? Good question.

Anyway Toyota's now going to be out $250 mil at the very least on warranty costs alone. And you get to know your Toyota Dealer. Fun!

Again. Consumers. YOU GET what THEY PAY FOR. And even the 'perfect Japanese' aren't above skimping on quality now. And this US Consumer gets it:

"I know in the next year or so, I am going to have to look at buying another car, and I am likely to buy used," said one reader of The Consumerist calling themselves theblackdog. "I don't think I could trust buying a used Toyota that was manufactured in 2005 or later, so I guess I will be scratching Toyota off of my list to look at."

[From WRAPUP 2-US Congress probes Toyota recalls as impact spreads] other words, try to buy a car that was made in a year when "Japanese quality" was not the joke it is now.

All of you 'Horse Deer' at Toyota. Shame on you. Bang your heads on the tatami until you get bamboo splinters. And NEVER do this again.

Mentok out

[Seems like a bygone era, eh?]

"Dr. Deming: The American Who Taught the Japanese About Quality" (Rafael Aguayo)

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