Can Europeans Out-maneuver Toyota?

European auto managers have set the bar high. Every one of them has vowed to match Toyota’s manufacturing excellence. And the chorus is growing louder and more urgent every day. Fiat is the latest convert. At a strategy presentation in Turin on Nov. 9, CEO Sergio Marchionne vowed to bring Fiat’s operating profit to a robust 6% by 2010 and to achieve best-in-class production efficiency. “Toyota is a flawless execution machine. We need to learn how to execute at that level. It’s not optional. It’s the only way to guarantee the long term success of the business. Toyota will only get better.”

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