The evolution of Japanese automobility

A NY Times magazine must read about the Japanese car manufacturer Toyota. Using research, focus groups, smart long-term thinking and user friendly/centered design Toyota will soon be the largest car company.

[…] Toyota spends $20 million a day, Jim Press told me, on research and factories. “They are outspending G.M. in R.&D., product development and capital spending,” says Sean McAlinden, an economist at the Center for Automotive Research, a not-for-profit consulting firm in Ann Arbor. “If that trend continues, we’re dead. The problem is, suppose we made a car” as good as a Toyota. “Then we only have a car as good as they do. It’s not just about catching up, or getting into the game. You’ve got to get ahead somehow. But how?” […]