Mitsuru Kawai is overseeing a return to the old ways at Toyota factories throughout Japan. Having spent 50 years at the Japanese automaker, Kawai remembers when manual skills were prized at the company and "experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything." Company CEO Akio Toyoda personally chose Kawai to develop programs to teach workers metalcraft such as how to forge a crankshaft from scratch, and 100 workstations that formerly housed machines have been set aside for
Paul Branstad loves the shape and purity of the Series 1 Jaguar E-Type, produced from 1961 to 1968, but appreciates the longer length of the Series 3 V12 model, which affords occupants a more comfortable space in which to enjoy long trips. So when Branstad brought his damaged left-hand-drive 1968 roadster from its home in the US to Classic Motor Cars in the UK for a restoration, he had a special request: restore his car, but make it a bit longer.
As reported recently, even though Toyota halted Tundra production for a while, the company pledged not to lay off its workers. At a total cost of potentially $1 billion to the company, Toyota instead placed the employees in retraining and civic works programs during a Kaizen and Development Period.
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