There has been more than "substantial doubt" since October 7, 1986 when the first Toyota was manufactured in the United States.
And the matter has been even more doubtful every year since as GM opted to do everything except pursue lean.
The lean community has had no doubt about the matter for quite some time now.
You can read the sorry story here if you are so inclined.
Chris Mahan says
In your opinion, has Ford become lean enough survive this?
Bill Waddell says
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply.
It is apt to be more my heart than my head speaking but, yes, I think Ford is starting to get it and they will come through stronger for it. They have a couple of things going for them – although they are a public company, the family still calls the shots and that is a powerful thing. It means their name is on the side of the building, and on the product which gives them a lot of motivation.
Also, Bill Ford seems to be driven by principles beyond short term money, which puts him more in tune with Toyota than GM or Chrysler.
Finally, I do think they are beginning to understand that lean is broader than just the factories.
Hope I’m right – time will tell.
Thanks for the thought-provoking question.