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#403: Nummi

#403: Nummi

March 26, 2010

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#403: Nummi
1:01:16 $0.00
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Product Details

  • Label: Chicago Public Media & Ira Glass
  • Copyright: 2010 Chicago Public Media & Ira Glass
  • Duration: 1:01:16 minutes
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B004BQYVV8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,094 Paid in Songs (See Top 100 Paid in Songs)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on May 15, 2011
This is an hour-long story about an improbable partnership between General Motors and Toyota to jointly run an auto plant in Fremont, California. The JV was formed in 1984 and ran the plant until its closing in April 2010. It was called New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., but everyone called it "NUMMI." It's a fascinating narrative, with interviews of workers, labor leaders, management from the plant and business school faculty. This is one of the best radio pieces you'll ever hear. Although the two companies were fierce competitors, each needed the other at the time. GM needed to learn how to build high-quality small cars efficiently. Toyota had never made a car in America and wanted a local partner for its first plant here. Toyota chose GM's Fremont assembly plant, which had been closed down as one of the worst-performing factories in the country. Interviews with workers recounted incidents of drugs, sex, intentional sabotaging of cars, absenteeism so massive that managers would run down to the local bar to round up day workers, and constant labor-management fights. Contrary to almost everyone's advice, Toyota re-hired the vast majority of what was reputed to be one of the worst work forces in the auto industry. These blue-collar, hard-drinking American workers were sent to Japan to train alongside Japanese workers in Toyota City to learn the Toyota Way. Tape from those trips revealed a remarkable transformation. Almost from the day it opened, the NUMMI plant had the highest quality of any auto plant in the U.S. Its operations were radically different from any auto plant in America. During its lifetime, the plant produced 8 million high-quality cars, mostly Toyota Corollas. This program tells how this transformation was accomplished, why GM failed to learn from it and why Toyota knew GM could not copy the Toyota Way (ultimately leading to GM's bankruptcy). The story is told by Frank Langfit in a joint production by NPR and WBEZ/This American Life.
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This American Life is a very informative and entertaining radio show. This particular episode explains how the American car industry lost it's edge in the car market and what must change to get it back. The explanations are simple and easy to understand, and has many suggestions on how to fix the problem.
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By A Davis on August 27, 2014
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I am planning to use this s the platform of a CEO workshop.
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