Publisher’s note: As Renault very recently found out much to its shock and dismay, the need for business intelligence and counter-intelligence is as critical to a company’s success and security as that of a nation. In this vein, the words in 2002 of national security strategist Dr. Sheila Ronis, Director of MBA Programs at Walsh College in Troy, Michigan, could not have been more prescient:
“The fates of companies, as well as countries are tied to their intelligence capability. Guess what organization in the world, long before the Internet’s arrival, was found to send half a million messages a day from just one country to its home base via satellite? The CIA? The Israelis? The Russians? Toyota? If you guessed Toyota, you would be right.
“As unlikely as it sounds, a CIA study in the late eighties found that Toyota sent over 500,000 messages a day from its Torrance, California facility to Tokyo via an encrypted satellite hookup. We know that our CIA sent about half as many messages around the world per day at that time, and although the Russian’s intelligence was still top notch in the early nineties, its infrastructure didn’t compare to that of Toyota’s.
“Today, many intelligence experts believe that Toyota’s intelligence capabilities are still superior to those of the CIA, the Israelis or any global power. That’s because Toyota represents an organization filled with learners who share their knowledge.”
Conversely, it would be unwise for Toyota’s competitors to assume that the company, given the current quality problems necessitating recalls of even its Lexus brand, has somehow dropped the ball in terms of its much vaunted “Relentless Pursuit of Perfection”. Indeed, nothing is further from the truth, and we know from our own intelligence sources that Toyota’s difficulties primarily stem from internal sabotage at the design and manufacturability level put in place nearly two decades ago.
This activity constituted a core element of a grand strategy by an emergent global player, who understood implicitly that the success of its long range plans required crafting a loss of consumer confidence in the Toyota brand.
One needs look no further than Renault to understand how dedicated this emergent global player is to the accomplishment of its set objectives.
Myron D. Stokes