Humor: Toyota and Ford canoe racing

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River . Both teams practised long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.
On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person   rowing .

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager. They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the ‘Rowing Team Quality First Program’,   with meetings, dinners, free pens, and a certificate of completion for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices, and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.
Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower (a reduction in workforce) for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year’s racing team was ‘out-sourced’ to India .

Sadly, the End.

However sad but oh so true!   Here’s something else to think about:

Ford has spent the last 30 years moving its factories out of the US, claiming they can’t make money paying American wages.   Toyota has spent the last 30 years building more than a dozen plants inside the US.
The last quarter’s results:

Toyota makes $4 billion in profits, while Ford racked up $9 billion in losses.   Ford folks are still scratching their heads.

If this wasn’t so sad, it might be funny!

One Comment

  1. Cody says:

    I can’t tell if you’re trying to make fun of Ford, or GM… This would make more sense if you were making fun of GM as they’re in serious trouble right now… Ford’s sales dropped 50% over the last year, but has increased quality to the same level as Toyota, and isn’t in serious need of funds. They’re a much smarter company than GM, sales are dropping so much for Ford right now because they sell mostly to businesses (trucks) and many American businesses have stopped buying new vehicles for the year, they’re moving more towards a small car market again, and should be on track around 2011… where as GM has no plan or hope for the future other than Mommy and Daddy (government) to give them their paycheck until things are good and they can once again waste money for the fun of wasting money.

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