* Microcontrollers and power semiconductors from STMicroelectronics selected by Toyota Industries Corp for voltage converter in Toyota's new Prius
Eiji Toyoda, who spearheaded Toyota Motor Corp.’s expansion in the United States as the automaker’s longest-serving president, died Sept. 17 in Toyota City, Japan. He was 100. Toyota Motor announced the death and said the cause was a heart ailment. Read full article >>
What is more important to company success, a strong external focus on customer experiences or an internal focus on effective and efficient operations? Of course, it's a false dichotomy — you need both. I described in an earlier post how Tesco worked for years to improve its supply chain capabilities, then leveraged this value by using deeper customer knowledge to enrich customer experiences. But let's flip the paradigm. Some organizations which have competed successfully for decades by focusing primarily on creating unique solutions for each customer are now embracing operational excellence to drive even more customer value. For example, catalog and online retailers like L.L. Bean have had lots of information about customers for many years that they have used to tailor offerings and services. As they have grown their ability to analyze ever more data about their customers, they have found new ways to provide uniquely tailored catalogs and offers, increasingly online. But while such customized services used to be enough to compete effectively, these retailers are now finding they need to improve their operational reliability too. L.L. Bean is embarking on a major investment in its systems infrastructure. Terry Sutton, vice president of business transformation, told me that "The systems we're implementing are about operational excellence. As a direct marketer we have been good at customer intimacy. We know a lot about our customers. But our new system infrastructure investments are about running better. We have known for a long time that we needed to be operationally excellent, but in the past we've fixed problems reactively, after the event, to keep customers happy. We've survived through heroics." While retailers and consumer packaged goods companies are leaders in understanding and serving their customer uniquely, no industry is closer to its customers than healthcare. Doctors are driven to understand each patient deeply and to deliver a unique solution tailored to the patient's specific needs. And new tools are emerging to push the frontiers of personalized medicine. Gene sequencing, wireless physiological sensors, and digital anatomical imaging are creating more granular patient profiling and tailored treatments. For example, gene sequencing is enabling better prediction of disease susceptibility and drug reactions. By sequencing the tumor DNA of cancer patients, doctors are able to tailor treatments only to patients who will benefit. And all the data is being captured in patients' electronic health records, allowing more coordinated and customized care. At the same time, many healthcare organizations have been working hard to complement their historic strengths in delivering unique solutions for each patient with an added focus on operational excellence. Patient safety is one motivation. The landmark report by the Institute of Medicine, "To Err is Human, Building a Safer Health System," chronicled the unexpectedly high incidence of medical errors. Many hospitals began pursuing the "triple aim": better patient experiences, consistent quality, and lower costs. Hospitals such as Virginia Mason and ThedaCare adopted process improvement systems from manufacturing ("Lean" and the "Toyota Production System") to deliver increased consistency, reliability, and quality. While skeptics are right when they say, "Patients are not cars," the reality is that medical care is, in fact, delivered through extraordinarily complex organizations, with thousands of interacting processes, much like a factory. Consider ThedaCare, a health delivery system with five hospitals, 26 clinics, and over 6,000 employees, based in northeast Wisconsin. Like many healthcare institutions, Thedacare was good at diagnosing and delivering unique solutions to each patient. But in 2003 ThedaCare leaders decided to focus on designing processes that consistently work better, reduce waste, and enable staff to better meet the needs of patients. To learn more about how to approach process improvement, their leaders consulted with a nearby Wisconsin-based business, Ariens Outdoor Power Equipment Company, which had successfully employed Lean management for several years. ThedaCare built its version of the Toyota Production System, which it calls the ThedaCare Improvement System. Leaders engage staff in intensive week-long process improvement efforts. There are typically five of these projects running every week. The projects have improved clinical performance, including lowering the incidence of preterm births, improving heart attack response rates, offering same-day appointments in every office and clinic, and changing the way care is delivered to a collaborative, team-based approach. ThedaCare employees have increased productivity 12 percent since January 2006, saving the company more than $27 million. They have passed those savings along to patients and insurers. With a price increase rate that is half that of their nearest competitors, their costs are consistently the lowest in the state. L.L.Bean and ThedaCare show that organizations that have historically competed on customer intimacy can simultaneously strive for operational excellence. But it isn't easy. Autonomy to make customer-specific decisions seems to be in conflict with the use of standards, which are essential to delivering consistency, reliability, and low cost. In another post, I described how the Cleveland Clinic standardized an approach for patient web searches, so they were able to scale easily to over 100 unique patient pathways. The art is in finding ways to optimize these apparent opposites simultaneously: introducing standard operational work wherever possible, while continuing to get better and better at delivering tailored customer solutions.
It seems the exuberance of a recovering housing market has spread not just to Ford, Toyota, and GM this morning but to the luxury-end of the 'renaissance'-ing auto industry... Because nothing says 'recovery' like a $4.4 million, 750 horsepower, 6.6 liter V12 'Batmobile'-style Lambo... Via American Luxury Mag, Lamborghini surprised the automotive world when they unveiled the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster earlier this year. However, of the four models showcased it was said only three would be sold.
Представители Toyota Industries Corp, японского производителя техники, сообщили о том, что планируемый объём инвестиций в течение последующих срёх лет на повышение конкурентоспособности составит как минимум 300 млрд. иен или 3180 млн. долларов.
Японский производитель техники Toyota Industries Corp планирует осуществить инвестиции на сумму около 300 млрд иен ($ 3180 млн) в течение следующих трех лет для повышения своей конкурентоспособности. Компания будет осуществлять инвестиции до конца 2015 финансового года. Toyota Industries планирует расширять зарубежный выпуск автомобильных запчастей для кондиционеров и других продуктов, а также приобретать предприятия.В октябре 2012 г. компания приобрела американского производителя запчастей для погрузчиков частей Cascade Corp с целью увеличения своей глобальной клиентской базы.Напомним, что автоконцерн Toyota в свою очередь сумел сохранить лидирующие позиции по мировым продажам автомобилей по итогам I квартала 2013 г. На втором и третьем местах расположились GM и Volkswagen.Объем продаж за первые три месяца года, по данным Toyota Motor Corp, составил 2 430 000 автомобилей. General Motors за это же время удалось реализовать 2 360 000 машин. Показатель Volkswagen AG составил 2 270 000 единиц.В период с января по март этого года конкуренты смогли подобраться поближе к лидеру. Объем продаж автомобилей в Toyota снизился на 2,2% по сравнению с аналогичным периодом прошлого года, а в GM и Volkswagen вырос на 3,6% и 5,1% соответственно.
Despite the eagerness of Abenomics and the new BOJ head Kuroda to have their cake and eat it too, in this case manifesting in soaring stock prices, plunging Yen, rising GDP and exports, and most importantly, flat or declining bond yields, so far they have succeeded in carrying out three of the four (assuming Japanese economic data reporting is more accurate than that of its neighbor China), as it is physically impossible for any central planner to completely overrule the laws of math, economics and physics indefinitely. In this vein, we have described on numerous occasions in the past several days the shock to the system that the massive one-way transfer out of all asset classes and into equities has engendered, and resulted in several JGB futures trading halts in an attempt to normalize a market where bond volatility has suddenly exploded. Volatility aside (and it shouldn't be as the below section from JPM explains), the recent surge in yields higher is finally starting to take its tool on domestic bond issuers. As Bloomberg reports, already two names have pulled deals from the jittery bond market due to "soaring" borrowing costs. The first is Toyota Industries which as NHK reported, canceled the sale of JPY20 billion debt. Toyota is among Japanese firms that put off selling debt as long-term yields on government debt have risen, increasing borrowing costs, public broadcaster NHK says without citing anyone. Last week JFE Holdings announced it would delay plans to sell bonds due to market volatility. Two names down... and the 10 Year is not even north of 1%. What happens to corporate bond funding when the one way slide that it the USDJPY continues on its way to 105, then 110, then 120, and so on, as equities explode on their way to doubling in 2013 (the NKY225 should surpass the DJIA in absolute terms in tonight's trading session), and how will corporation raise that much needed capital to fund CapEx (if one believes Abe of course) if they can't even handle a 10 Year that is well shy of 1%? Maybe they can all just fund their capital needs with equity going forward? Perhaps, more importantly, what happens to JGB holdings as the benchmark Japanese government bond continues trading with the volatility of a 1999 pennystock, and as more and more VaR stops are hit, forcing even more holders to dump the paper out of purely technical considerations: a topic we touched upon most recently last week, and which courtesy of JPM, which looks back at exactly the same event just 10 years delayed, when in the summer of 2003 10y JGB yields tripled from 0.5% in June 2003 to 1.6%, now has a name: VaR shocks. For those who wish to skip the punchline here it is: A 100bp interest rate shock in the JGB yield curve, would cause a loss of ¥10tr for Japan's banks. Oops. For those who wish to keep reading, JPM's Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou explains how Japan's toxic volatility loop may very soon send JGBs soaring in yields: a perfectly logical outcome in a world that can't have the disconnect between equity-implied growth (and inflation) and bond-implied contraction (and deflation) for ever. And all this just as Abenomics was desperately clinging to any validation it was working. From JPM's Flows and Liquidity: VaR Shocks The recent rise in JGB volatility is raising concerns about a repeat of the 2003 “VaR shock” i.e. volatility-induced selloff. The rise in JGB volatility is raising concerns about a volatility-induced selloff similar to the so called “VaR shock” of the summer of 2003. At the time, the 10y JGB yield tripled from 0.5% in June 2003 to 1.6% in September 2003. The 60-day standard deviation of the daily changes in the 10y JGB yield jumped from 2bp per day to more than 7bp per day over the same period. As documented widely in the literature, the sharp rise in market volatility in the summer of 2003 induced Japanese banks to sell government bonds as the Value-at-Risk exceeded their limits. This volatility induced selloff became self-reinforcing until yields rose to a level that induced buying by VaR insensitive investors. Banks typically set limits against potential losses in their trading operations by calculating Value-at-Risk metrics. Value-at-Risk (VaR) is a statistical measure that banks use to quantify the expected loss, over a specified horizon and at a certain confidence level, in normal markets. Historical return distributions and historical market volatility measures are typically used in VaR calculations given the difficulty in forecasting volatility. This in turn induces banks to raise the size of their trading positions in a low volatility environment, making them vulnerable to a subsequent volatility shock. What was the flow evidence in the summer of 2003? By looking at quarterly Flow of Funds data from the BoJ, it was Japanese banks, Broker/Dealers and foreign investors who sold JGBs at the time. And it was VaR insensitive investors, Postal Savings and domestic Pension Funds and Insurance Companies who absorbed that selling. How sensitive are Japanese banks currently to an interest rate volatility shock? The latest Financial System Report by the BoJ, April 2013, does not look encouraging. While Japanese major banks are close to average in terms of their vulnerability to interest rate rises, Regional and Shinkin (i.e. cooperative banks) are the most vulnerable they have ever been. A theoretical 100bp interest rate shock, i.e. a parallel shift in the Japanese bond yield curve of 100bp, would cause a loss of ¥3tr for Major banks, ¥5tr for Regional banks and ¥2tr for Shinkin banks. As a % of Tier 1 capital, these theoretical losses are close to 35% for Regional and Shinkin banks vs. only 10% for Major banks. The maturity mismatch, the difference between the average remaining maturity of assets minus that of liabilities, has risen for all banks over the past few years. But it was the highest ever at the end of last year for Shinkin banks at 2.2 years, and the highest ever for Regional banks at1.8 years. Major banks had a much lower maturity mismatch of 0.8 years at the end of 2012. This divergence between Major banks and Regional/Shinkin banks largely reflects differences in the maturity of their bond holdings. The average remaining maturity of bond investments has lengthened to around 4 years at Regional banks and nearly 5 years at Shinkin banks vs. 2.5 years for Major banks. So in terms of their sensitivity to JGB interest shocks, Japanese banks appear to be more vulnerable than they were in 2003. For example in 2003, the expected theoretical loss from a 100bp interest rate shock was around ¥2tr for Major banks, ¥3tr for Regional banks and ¥1tr for Shinkin banks, significantly lower than they are currently. The maturity mismatch was around 0.8 years for Major banks, i.e. similar to the mismatch reported by the BoJ for the end of 2012. But the maturity mismatch was a lot lower at the time for Regional and Shinkin banks, at 1.2 and 1.5 years, respectively. By themselves, these maturity mismatches and the sensitivity to interest rate shocks, appear to be increasing the chances that the Japanese government bond market will see a higher frequency of VaR shocks and thus more elevated volatility vs. other government bond markets. The potential offsetting factor is anecdotal and other evidence that Japanese banks have become more sophisticated in terms of the risk management and have gradually shifted away from mechanical Value-at Risk frameworks towards Stress Testing frameworks. This shift should have prevented banks from taking more interest rate risk in response to declining volatility and thus made them less vulnerable and less responsive to a subsequent interest rate shock. Indeed, by looking at the risk management behavior of Major banks, for which the interest rate sensitivity and maturity mismatches are little changed since 2003, there is evidence of prudent interest rate risk management. But this is less true for Regional and Shinkin banks for which interest rate sensitivity and maturity mismatches have been rising sharply over the past years. This divergence is not surprising given that Major banks are typically a lot more sophisticated than Regional or Shinkin banks. And it is Regional and Shinkin banks which present a volatility risk for JGB markets. It is true that Regional and Shinkin banks are smaller than Major banks, but they together hold a large ¥50tr of JGBs (vs. ¥120tr of JGB holdings for Major banks). These maturity mismatches and sensitivity to interest rate shocks have been intensified by QE because 1) of the mechanical rise in duration as yields decline and 2) because banks struggle to maintain their interest margins by extending the maturity of their bond portfolios so that they can capture extra yield. Indeed, the sharp lengthening of the maturity of the bond portfolios of Regional and Shinkin banks would appear to be a reflection of the pressure QE and a persistent low yield environment exert on banks to extend maturity. The average maturity of the bond portfolios of Regional banks was 3 years in 2007 vs. 4 years in 2012. The average maturity of the bond portfolios of Shinkin banks was 2.5 years in 2007 vs. 4.7 years in 2012. And this is one of the unintended consequences of QE more broadly: Investors who target a stable Value-at-Risk, which is the size of their positions times volatility, tend to take larger positions as volatility collapses. The same investors are forced to cut their positions when hit by a shock, triggering selfreinforcingvolatility-induced selling. So QE potentially increases the likelihood of VaR shocks. The proliferation of risk parity investors and funds, which are strict Value-at-Risk investors and are heavily invested in bonds currently, is also likely raising the sensitivity of bond markets to sel-freinforcing volatility-induced selling. What is the evidence of leverage outside Japanese banks? By looking at the bond holdings as % of total assets in Figure 2, Japanese banks are indeed the outlier followed by US and Euro area banks. The steady increase in the share of government bonds in Japanese bank assets reflects a sustained period of excess deposit inflows as households and corporates recycle their savings via the banking system. In a way Figure 2 suggests that Japanese banks are more vulnerable to interest rate rises and thus more likely to be the cause of a VaR shock. Admittedly US banks feature high in Figure 2, raising concerns about their vulnerability to interest rate shocks. The problem with Figure 2 is that it does not include hedges that banks have via swap or option positions to protect themselves against duration risk. Therefore a better way to assess interest rate leverage by US banks could be to look at the quarterly trading profits of US commercial banks available from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The latest observation is for Q4 2012. We proxy leverage by the ratio of the volatility of their interest-rate trading profits over bond market volatility. Figure 3 suggests that US banks’ interest-rate leverage was about average in 2012. The Dec 2012 observation is well below the highs seen in 2009/2010.
Toyota Motor Corp's top North American executive has voiced optimism about the U.S. economy, and said the aging cars and trucks in consumers' garages will continue to drive industry demand this year. Jim Lentz, newly appointed chief executive of North America, said the Japanese automaker sees U.S. industry new-car sales…
By Ben Klayman NEW YORK, March 28 - Toyota Motor Corp's top North American executive voiced optimism on Thursday about the U.S. economy and said demand in the industry this year would be driven by the ...
Toyota Motor Corp's top North American executive on Thursday voiced optimism about the U.S. economy, and said the aging cars and trucks in consumers' garages will continue to drive industry demand this ...
Note: The automakers will report March vehicle sales this coming Monday, April 1st. Here are a few forecasts: From Reuters: US industry March auto sales tracking above 15 mln -Toyota exec "So far, this month of March looks to be very good for all manufacturers," [Bob Carter, Toyota's senior vice president for U.S. auto operations] told industry executives at a conference ahead of the New York auto show. He said industry sales are tracking up 6.6 percent in March, with an annual rate of 15.2 million to 15.3 million vehicles. From TrueCar: March 2013 New Car Sales Expected to Be Up Almost Five Percent According to TrueCar; March 2013 SAAR at 15.42M, Highest March SAAR Since 2007 The March 2013 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate ("SAAR") of 15.42 million new car sales ... up from 14.1 million in March 2012. From Kelley Blue Book: March New-Car Sales To Hit Highest Monthly Total Since August 2007 According To Kelley Blue Book New-car sales will remain steady at a 15.2 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in March. And from Reuters: U.S. auto sales could rise 8 pct in March -research firms Sales of new cars and trucks in March are expected to rise to 1,465,100 vehicles, while the annual sales pace is forecast to hit 15.3 million vehicles, J.D. Power and LMC said in a joint report released on Thursday. Since November, the annual rate has ranged from 15.3 million to 15.5 million. It appears auto sales were solid in March, and this suggests decent consumer spending growth in Q1. Note: Most forecasts were for auto sales growth to slow in 2013 to around 4% growth or 15.0 million units. Based on the first few months, it appears sales will be stronger than expected this year. Earlier: • Case-Shiller: Comp 20 House Prices increased 8.1% year-over-year in January • Real House Prices, Price-to-Rent Ratio, City Prices relative to 2000 • New Home Sales at 411,000 SAAR in February • A few comments on New Home Sales
Last week more than 3/4 a million state workers in Germany won a 5.6% wage increase over a 2-year contract. Today I.G. Metall, the largest and most important private sector union, confirmed that at negotiations the begin on March 19, it will seek a 5.5% wage increase over the next year. Separately, large Japanese companies have indicated willingness to grant higher wages and/or bonuses as the spring labor negotiations get under way. It is, of course, easy to succumb to the cynical view that the civil servant wage increase in Germany is an election year ploy. Last year's pay hike for municipal workers did not in fact carry over and boost Merkel's CDU in the numerous state elections last year. Simply put, the situation is much more complicated. Real wages rose in Germany rose for the third consecutive 2012 and appear set to do so again here in 2013. Look at the quarterly pattern of nominal wage increases in Germany last year: 2.1% in Q1, 2.5% in Q2, 3.0% in Q3 and 3.2% in Q4. Private sector wages increases have little to do with any purported government electioneering. Last year, I.G. Metall sought a 6.5% increase, but in the end accepted a 4.3% increase covering 13 months--which at some 7 bln euros, was the biggest award in two decades. Yes, the employers association (Gesamtmetall) will push back against the 5.5% demand. It argues that output fell last year and only a small increase is likely this year. The employees are seeking to recoup some of the ground lost to inflation and productivity growth after years of wage restraint. Warning strikes--limited industrial action-- is possible in the coming weeks. The significance of higher German wages is difficult to exaggerate. An increase in disposable income may help fuel domestic demand. Recall Germany, like China, exports around 40% of GDP. China is under pressure to rebalance its economy toward domestic consumption. Some argue this is a natural development. Yet Germany, a mature high income country, has yet to make that transition. Weaker growth in the European periphery and many emerging markets may force Germany to rely more on the demand it can create domestically. Separately, but just as importantly, higher German wages can be an important part of the adjustment process in Europe. The pressure has been on peripheral countries (and France) to boost competitiveness by reducing unit labor costs. Where this has been done (not in Italy or France) it has been concentrated in the public sector with job, wage and benefit cuts. However, the increase in German unit labor costs, all told quite modest, does take some pressures off the peripheral countries have to bear the sole burden of the adjust process. These wage developments, coupled with the OMT and EU efforts that encourage less draconian austerity (by giving at least some countries extra time to reduce the deficit and allow productive public sector investment), reinforce the idea that European officials--not just the ECB--are continued to reduce the risk disintegration of EMU. Over in Japan, auto makers and other large companies are raising wages and/or bonuses in the spring round of labor negotiations. Toyota, for example, recently agreed to the largest pay increase in five years. It granted a bonus equivalent to 5-months average salary and an extra JPY300k payment. The average pay out is JPY2.05 mln (~$21.4k). Bonuses at Nissan were equivalent to 5.5 months of salary with an average payout of JPY2.04 mln. It is hoped that such wage developments in Japan can help accomplish two things. First, it is thought that higher wages can help boost domestic consumption. It would seem to make sense. However, it remains to be proven as the small living spaces and culture suggests that the Japanese household is not about to "shop until they drop" as Americans are thought to do. In addition, the propensity to consume in Japan is extremely stable. It is possibly that under the watchful eye of the archetype Mrs Watanabe, who manages household finances, may look to boost financial assets rather than consumption. Second, to the extent that businesses seek to pass on the higher wage will to customers it may help the new BOJ arrest deflation. This too has to be seen as Japanese business traditionally compete by retaining market share when faced with an price shock. We have argued that the real challenge post-crisis is to generate aggregate demand. Export oriented strategies borrow from other countries' aggregate demand. We see real wage growth helping, even if on the margins, to boost demand. At the same time, real wage growth also is an important way to redress the growing inequality that has reached unprecedented proportions and undermines not just the broader economy, but the political center as well.
After four tumultuous years bookended by an unprecedented recall crisis and a return to the top of the global auto industry, Akio Toyoda is refashioning Toyota Motor Corp into a leaner company that's more imbued with the venture spirit of founder Kiichiro Toyoda, his grandfather. In an exclusive interview with…
Beijing's noxious smog is a reminder of why China needs to step up investments in clean energy. This includes promoting electric and hybrid cars as an alternative to gas-guzzling cars idling on clogged city roads. Yet for all the subsidies lavished on automakers in this carbon-free niche, none have made any serious headway. The much-praised Toyota Prius is supposedly sold in China, but I've never spotted one on the road in Beijing. As for BYD, the domestic battery maker turned automaker, its electric cars have yet to find a market outside of public procurement in its home base of Shenzhen. It suffered a bout of terrible publicity last year when a battery-powered e6 taxi caught fire in a collision. Relatives of the dead driver later sued the company, which claimed that the car wasn't at fault.
DUBAI (Reuters) - In a workshop in a dusty industrial area on the outskirts of Dubai, engineers are stripping down a Toyota Land Cruiser to install armored plating, bullet resistant glass and run-flat tires.
Quote of the Day › It will take more time to encourage companies to settle in a way that helps increase the hiring of disaster-affected people markedly.
An official at the industrial and business promotion division of the Miyagi prefectural government. Companies, including Toyota and Daio Paper Corp, are boosting investment in the three disaster-hit prefectures of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima. (Jiji Press)