Company Internationalization and European Works Councils in the Automotive Sector
Chapter 9: Toyota Motor Europe (TME)
187 Chapter 9: Toyota Motor Europe (TME) 9.1 The Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Toyota Motor Europe (TME) The Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is one of the world’s leading vehicle manu- facturers based on a range of measures. With more than 9 million vehicles produced in 2008, it has the highest sales figures by volume of any automotive company.163 It also had the highest sales figures in financial terms, with a turnover of €168 billion (for the financial year 2008/9).164 Over the past ten years, Toyota has emerged as a byword for quality and profitability. The company’s success is widely attributed to its highly-advanced production system (Toyota Production System, TPS), which has become the reference standard for the entire branch (Womack et al., 1992). This is embedded in a company culture based on long-term job tenure, high investment in company-specific employee knowledge, and harmonious employment relations. The Toyota group directly employees some 320,000 staff worldwide in more than 500 companies.165 However, the core undertaking, with twelve plants and the development centre in Toyota City, has only 70,000 employees. The majority of the company’s workforce is employed in its numerous subsidiaries, both within Japan and abroad. There are fifty-one manufacturing plants in Japan alone, either wholly or majority owned by TMC. In addition, there are subsidiaries for sales, develop- ment and logistics.166 Although the group has expanded beyond the automotive sector – Toyota Industries Corporation is the world leader in lift trucks and initially specialised in textile machinery – the...
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