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Toyota Under Fire: Lessons for Turning Crisis into Opportunity Hardcover – April 4, 2011

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Frequently Bought Together

Toyota Under Fire: Lessons for Turning Crisis into Opportunity + Toyota Culture: The Heart and Soul of the Toyota Way + The Toyota Way to Continuous Improvement:  Linking Strategy and Operational Excellence to Achieve Superior Performance
Price for all three: $52.95

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 237 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (April 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007176299X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071762991
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #691,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"I was so captivated by the book I almost forgot to take notes for the review :)  It reads like an episode of Law & Order.  I loved it."
--John Wetzel, Lean for Everyone

The story is both fascinating and frustrating as Toyota's technically oriented culture... is confounded and overwhelmed by (rumors and innuendo) of a political and litigation culture.

Instead of relying upon the superficial media reporting done by organizations like the L.A. Times...Liker and Ogden...worked to...sort out the basic facts.

(Toyota Under Fire shows)  a firmer grasp of the technological issues at stake than most of the lawmakers - and some of the supposed experts - who were quick to pillory Toyota a year ago. " --Financial Times

Toyota Under Fire is a powerful reminder of the many lessons that emerged from one of the most intense and unexpected automotive industry events in recent years.

From the Author

As I lived through the Toyota recall crisis I got frustrated that there was so much misinformation propagated by the mainstream media.  At the time I was working with Tim Ogden who was helping on a book about Toyota leadership and we decided to put that aside for the moment and focus on the crisis.  This book begins with an explanation of the Toyota Way and how it brought Toyota from a small back woods loom maker to becoming one of the most admired companies leading up to the twin crises of the Great Recession and the recalls.  We describe and analyze in detail how Toyota responded to the recession and then in rapid fire succession the first major attack on their credibility as a company spearheaded by the American media and trial lawyers with their expert witnesses.  Toyota's response in both cases was to follow the Toyota Way to emerge from both crises stronger than ever.  There are lessons to learn for any company going through a crisis.
Jeff Liker
Author of "The Toyota Way"

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Customer Reviews

It was extremely informative and well written.
Jeffrey Liker and Timothy Ogden's new book, "Toyota Under Fire" provides a very valuable new insight to the Toyota Culture.
Michael Bremer
Every leader and improvement professional should read this book.
Karen Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
"Problems first" is one of the tenets of Toyota's unique management approach and, indeed, the company is even more interesting to observe when it is dealing with catastrophic events - it's ability for self-correction and drawing powerful conclusions, emerging stronger from its trials has been, historically, astounding.

When all pundits were claiming the "end of Toyota", "this time Toyota has gone too far" "Toyota has lost its way", these authors have resisted the siren song of the lynch mob and conducted an in-depth, fact-based investigation in what was really happening within Toyota. What they found was, first, a giant automotive company that hit the worst industrial crisis of working memory, a crisis that has claimed the life of no other than GM and has cost millions of taxpayers dollars to salvage the industry, and yet Toyota reacted without laying off any permanent employees or asking for subsidies. indeed it used the downtime to increase training and focus on improving its factory quality. This is an astounding industrial feat, and reading the account made by the authors is more than enlightening; it's inspiring. Corporations need not be slaves to the market, or justify treating people without respect because of "market conditions". Toyota demonstrates how faced with overwhelming market conditions, companies can still stick to their agreements and engage every one in working together towards turnaround.

Second, as it was still reeling from the impact of the great recession, Toyota was bizarely attacked in the court of public opinion for designing "unsafe" cars, with everyone from the government to Toyota experts piling on to fuel the hysteria.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joseph F Ely on April 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book was very enjoyable yet in a surprising way.

From the title and description, I expected a blow-by-blow review of the details of the rigors of the safety recalls and public scrutiny of Congress following the awful crashes of Toyota cars. I also expected this to be set against the context of the recession. This is certainly part of the book. But not the most useful.

As someone who has followed and sought to emulate Toyota's manufacturing excellence for well over a decade now, what really grabbed me was the authors' ability to see behind the decisions and into the decision-making process of Toyota. They described this well and clearly. For example, the discussions of company governance, it's influence on the timing and nature of decisions, was deeply helpful.

Toyota's system, now famous, are merely the outward expressions of a disciplined and deeply-ingrained approach to creating clarity out of the chaos which is business and manufacturing. This book enables the reader to better understand why. This is key because it is short-sighted to merely seek to imitate the Toyota Production System. Much better to understand the thinking and then flesh it out in one's own context.

Jeff Liker, again, adds well to the knowledge of Toyota.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen Martin on March 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
There may be no other company that has faced as protracted and deep scrutiny as Toyota has over the past year-and-a-half. But while the media was reporting half-truths that fueled an outpouring of emotion bordering on hysteria, two men were methodically searching for the truth, sorting out fact from fiction. The result, Toyota Under Fire, is an important and compelling piece of work - in many ways perhaps even more so than The Toyota Way, in helping us understand the management philosophy and practices that have led to Toyota's success, and have allowed it to weather a potentially debilitating storm that many companies may not have recovered from.

In some ways Toyota Under Fire reads more like a thriller than a business book. Liker and Ogden have created an easy read that takes a hard look at ALL of the facts, not just the ones the general public was privy to. And they do a brilliant job at outlining the leadership behaviors that anyone can use to mitigate and manage business crises. It's a thought-provoking book that caused me to once again rethink western business practices, while it deepened my respect for a company that trumps most others in terms of humility, problem-solving acumen, and process management know-how.

Every leader and improvement professional should read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gizmoinva on May 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
`Toyota Under Fire' is a great companion book to `The Toyota Way'. Mr. Liker and Mr. Ogden do a phenomenal job of researching and presenting the facts of how Toyota successfully dealt with the global recession and recall crisis. This book is a great blend of factual data analysis and an accurate historical account of how Toyota survived the dual crisis and how their culture of continuous improvement (Kaizen) guarantees the company will continue to thrive in the future.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to see how a truly world-class company successfully operates in the face of world-wide economic calamity to become an even better company. Toyota accomplished this goal by doing what they have historically done, which was documented in `The Toyota Way'. This book chronicles the lessons learned by Toyota that can be used by any company facing monumental adversity. The methodical way in which the authors present the facts and issues faced by Toyota and how the company successfully dealt with these issues are very eye opening. Regardless if you work for a small company or a large multinational organization. This book should be standard reading for every employee in every level of a company.
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