What is Toyotismo

The Toyotism is a system (or model) nipônico production of goods with a view to easing in manufacturing products.

This system will replace Fordism as an industrial model in force since the 1970s.

Origin of Toyotism

Toyotism was conceived by engineers Taiichi Ohno (1912-1990), Shingeo Shingo (1909-1990) and Eiji Toyoda (1913-2013).

This production model was developed between 1948 and 1975 in the factories of the Japanese automaker Toyota, from which it inherited the name.

The method was designed to recover Japanese industries in the postwar period. With the country destroyed, a small market and difficulty importing raw materials, Japan needed to manufacture at the lowest possible cost.

Origin of Toyotism

Eiji Toyoda and Taiichi Ohno Toyotism creators

Characteristics of Toyotismo

Taiichi Ohno realized that it was best to expect to receive orders to start car production in order to save on warehouse rents.

By saving space in the storage of raw materials and goods, factories increased productivity by reducing waste, lead time, overproduction and transport bottlenecks.

Despite the country’s geographic conditions, with small consumer spaces and markets, Toyota was able to become the world’s largest carmaker.

This was only possible thanks to the technological advance in the means of transportation and communication, which allowed the speed and punctuality of the flow of goods of the flexible production of the toyotista system.

The synchronization between the raw material supply, production and sales systems was the secret of success.

Toyotism Innovations

Toyotism introduced changes that allowed:

  • production adequate to demand;
  • inventory reduction;
  • diversification of manufactured products;
  • automation of production steps;
  • much more skilled and multifunctional workforce.

Toyota engineers fully relaxed production by manufacturing and stocking only what was needed. The timing system became known as “Just in Time”.

Toyotism Innovations

Toyotismo bets on technological innovation to reduce costs

Automation using increasingly modern machines has significantly reduced labor costs. In turn, it is extremely qualified and operates in work teams led by the most qualified professional.

These same workers will be responsible for quality inspection from the beginning to the end of the production process.

Finally, it is worth noting the principles of Toyotism regarding management:

  • Kaizen : Improve business operations around the clock;
  • “GenchiGenbutsu” (Go and see): consists in the analysis of the sources of the productive processes and the production problems.

From the 1970s, when successive oil crises rocked capitalism, the Toyotist model will spread worldwide.

This method was one of the milestones of the Third Industrial Revolution.

Fordism and Toyotism

Toyotism is heir to Taylorism, and especially to Fordism. After all, one of its creators, Taiichi Ohno, went to Detroit to watch the work of American automakers.

Let’s look at the main differences between the two production methods:

Fordism Toyotismo
Production system Rigid, centralized series production Flexible and versatile
Structure Hierarchical It is based on innovation, work management and corporate internal control mechanisms.
Division of labor Tasks are specialized One worker controls several machines and thus reduces the number of workers
Products Bulk production of the same product Diversity in production due to constant consumption requirements
Salary High wages because workers were sought to be consumers. It is not backed by high wages but by productivity premiums
Stocks There are always stocked products Stocking of products must match demand

Reviews of Toyotism

The same advantages preached by Toyotism can become serious problems. After all, this model is dependent on the importation of raw materials and does not have significant stocks of products.

With higher productivity, less labor is needed, which generates a large increase in unemployment, due to technology that decreases jobs.

Therefore, this industrial model is a major contributor to unemployment in the secondary sector of the economy. Equally, by the increase in outsourcing in the production process.


  • From the logic of permanent quality control of Toyotism, comes the ISO quality certificates that are now respected worldwide.
  • Toyota has invested heavily in market research to tailor its products to customer requirements.


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