Pursuing Excellence——Inspiration from TOYOTA



Author Gao Yang from 2019 CAU IMBA

Filled with joy and excitement, I stepped into the auditorium of CAU on Dec 14th and attended a lecture given by Mr. Nobuo Tanabe from Toyota Enterprise, along with Mr. Zeng, Mr. Yabuki and Mr. Mio.


It was definitely a great honor for all the MBA students of CAU to have Mr. Nobuo Tanabe and his team to present a lecture in our campus. The topics were TOYOTA Strategy and TOYOTA WAY, which were very practical and helpful for MBA students to acquire management experience and knowledge of concrete cases from real world.



Mr. Nobuo Tanabe started the lecture by giving us a brief introduction of Toyota and his team, and it did not take a long time for us to realize that he had joined Toyota Motor Corporation in 1981 and it has been almost 40 years since his career in TOYOTA. We all felt amazed and astonished by his loyal dedication to TOYOTA.


During the introduction of TOYOTA, we also learned that TOYOTA is facing a sustainable sales growth since 1980s. The annual sales had increased from 3.3 Million in 1981 to 9.5 Million in 2018, which has been tripled in the past 30 years.


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Among these significant achievements, the very imposing one was that the Export sales to America had experienced a drastic soar from 1970s-1980s and the following trade conflict between Japan and America caused by the deficits as high as 11.6 Billion US Dollars in 1978. This conflict also directly led to the approach of “Plaza Accord” and the US Government forced the Japanese currency to appreciate sharply. Since then Japan has experienced a long economic depression.


As per the introduction of Mr. Nobuo, elaborated presentation regarding the TOYOTA WAY and the TOYOTA Production System (aka TPS) was performed by Mr. Zeng. His humorous lecture has attracted all the attention of the audience. His exaggerated facial expressions and gestures have also made it much easier for us to grasp a lot of basic knowledge of automobile production. We also had a full discussion of “Which is easier to change, one’s activity or consciousness?”


Though tired, I enjoyed the lecture the whole time and it really inspired me a lot.