As a business owner whose company supplies both Toyota and other original equipment manufacturers, I have been directly impacted by the recent recall campaign at Toyota.
Rather than bog down Congress with a public witch hunt filled with needless grandstanding, I suggest we allow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to do the job it is commissioned to do and has done effectively in this case.
We should commend Toyota for taking decisive action. By suspending production and voluntarily recalling over 2.3 million vehicles, Toyota demonstrated the depth of its commitment to safety. Toyota's transparency and solid communication to the public and their supply base is refreshing.
This past year we have experienced the fallout from a decades-long purchasing focus at other OEMs who have sacrificed quality and innovation for cost. While there has been significant lip service to “quality” and “innovation,” the true agenda has been low-cost-country sourcing and cost reduction.
Toyota's innovative focus and attention to quality has gained market share and consumer confidence. If it weren't for the competitive pressure brought to the original Big Three, we would likely still be driving Pintos, Vegas and Gremlins.
The tragedy of the loss of life associated with this situation is unquestioned, however, Toyota will continue to take the actions needed based on its culture and commitment to safety. Toyota will work collaboratively with its supplier partners to improve its systems. This innovative, continuous improvement and partnership mentality will propel it back to a market-leadership position.
Concept Industries Inc.
Grand Rapids, Mich.