The Japanese automotive industry enjoyed spectacular success in the 1980s. This was largely due to the so-called “Lean Production System” – the combination of efficient production, and effective supplier and product development systems. In the 1990s, the industry fell on hard times because of the Japanese asset price bubble and extreme currency appreciation.
In Japan and the Global Automotive Industry, industry specialist Koichi Shimokawa draws on his thirty years of research and fieldwork with Japanese and American firms, to show how the Japanese automotive industry has managed to recover from this difficult period. Using data and source material that were previously unavailable to the English-speaking world, he shows how firms like Toyota were able to change to compete in increasingly globalized markets.
In addition, the book addresses the two major challenges to the current industry model: the rise of China, and the environmental and energy supply situation.