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TheDetroitBureau on Autoblog with Paul Eisenstein

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Filed under: Recalls, Toyota

We're very pleased to announce that veteran automotive journalist and Publisher of TheDetroitBureau.com, Paul Eisenstein, has joined the Autoblog team as a Contributing Editor. His editorials will appear regularly on Autoblog, beginning with this one:

Toyota: From "Benchmark" to "Troubled," the Decline of an Icon

paul-1-08opt.jpgIt's been said that when the gods want to punish a company, they first give it 40 years of success. Okay, we might quibble with the precise number, but that certainly seems to fit Toyota. Even with last year's bankruptcy at General Motors providing perspective, it's hard to find any more rapid fall from grace.

It was just a year ago that the giant maker seemed to have everything going for it. It had toppled GM, the long-time automotive king-of-the-hill, to become the world's biggest carmaker. It was routinely touted as the benchmark for what industry types like to call QRD, or quality, reliability and dependability to everyone else. Its Toyota Manufacturing System was the benchmark that everyone else set out to emulate. And as former Ford Vice Chairman Allan Gilmore was fond of repeating, the Japanese maker had "more money than God."

Yet, it didn't take long for things to turn upside-down following the release of the global 2008 sales numbers. Even as Toyota was savoring victory in its battle with GM, which was quickly plunging towards Chapter 11, Toyota's financial house turned out to be in alarming disorder, the maker reporting its worst - indeed its first - loss since the guns fell silent at the end of World War II.
Paul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of TheDetroitBureau.com, and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials will bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis.
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Continue reading TheDetroitBureau on Autoblog with Paul Eisenstein

TheDetroitBureau on Autoblog with Paul Eisenstein originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 04 Feb 2010 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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