Case | HBS Case Collection | September 1992 (Revised September 1995)

Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc.


On May 1, 1992, Doug Friesen, manager of assembly for Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky, plant, faces a problem with the seats installed in the plant's sole product--Camrys. A growing number of cars are sitting off-line with defective seats or are missing them entirely. This situation is one of several causes of recent overtime, yet neither the reason for the problem nor a solution is readily apparent. As the plant is an exemplar of Toyota's famed production system (TPS), Friesen is determined that, if possible, the situation will be resolved using TPS principles and tools. Students are asked to suggest what action(s) Friesen should take and to analyze whether Georgetown's current handling of the seat problem fits within the TPS philosophy.

Keywords: Quality; Production; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; Kentucky;


Mishina, Kazuhiro. "Toyota Motor Manufacturing, U.S.A., Inc." Harvard Business School Case 693-019, September 1992. (Revised September 1995.)