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Factory Man: How Jim Harbour discovered Toyota's quality and ..


Product Details

Factory Man is about James Harbour and the epic struggle of the U.S. auto industry to catch up to Japan in quality and productivity. Harbour is a former manufacturing executive who, partly by chance, became the first U.S. expert to study Toyota's operations in Japan. Harbour's consulting firm, Harbour & Associates has gained worldwide recognition for its annual public studies of factory productivity. The Harbour Report is the essential annual scorecard of who is winning the productivity race in the U.S. In 1981, Harbour reported that Toyota could offer a small car for sale in the U.S. at a production cost of $1,500-$1,700 less than the Detroit automakers at that time, a cost advantage of about 30 percent. The impact on Detroit was atomic, and launched the painful, historic effort by the Big Three to catch up, which continues today.

James Harbour's story, blunt and accessible, includes a detailed description of how Detroit went astray, beginning right after World War II. He saw it all firsthand. A Depression child, he started working at Chrysler's Jefferson Avenue assembly plant in 1946 and rose through the ranks, struggling all that time against a system that tolerated inferior products. The story continues to the present day as he explains why Detroit still hasn't quite caught up and how desperate the situation has become.

WHAT READERS HAVE TO SAY . . ."Jim Harbour offers a clear and compelling analysis of what has gone wrong with American auto manufacturing and how it can be put right. The frequent human interest anecdotes make it an absorbing, non-technical read."--Robert S. Miller, chairman of the board, Delphi

"Jim Harbour understands the power of benchmarking better than anyone I have ever met. This, along with his persistence over the years in making us all face up to the facts and opportunities, provided a critical boost to the U.S. auto industry. His tenacity aside, Harbour's insights continue to serve the industry he respects, and his book provides a template for manufacturers who have lost their way, as well as government's interests in finding theirs."--Harold Sperlich, president (retired), Chrysler Corporation


Binding: Hard Cover

Published: 2009-02-16
ISBN: 978 087263860X

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