Cummi Essay

Decent Essays
New United Motor Manufacturing Incorporated, the 1984 joint venture between Toyota and General Motors, was by all accounts a manufacturing success. NUMMI’s effectiveness was evidenced by the drastic change in output quality, employee morale, and overall cost—but while these great outcomes were recognized by GM, they were hardly leveraged. What supported these results were exactly the factors that radically set NUMMI apart from the rest of the GM family. Ultimately, GM’s failure to adapt the plant’s success was the result of a prideful conglomerate embodying a competitive internal structure and divisive culture so strong that it was unable to fully recognize and adapt to the fundamentally different NUMMI model. The culture within the broader General Motors, both at corporate and factory level, was one of self-accomplishment. This praised the individual and unit, and neglected how teams of units might work together to achieve something greater. As a result, when faced with the opportunity to adapt to the Japanese-style, backlash ensued—not only at plant level, but higher in the chain of command, too. NPR’s Frank Langfitt noted how “GM managers visited NUMMI, [and] instead of trying to figure out how they could benefit from the system, some of…show more content…
Schaefer summarizes how departments interacted: “General Motors was a kind of throw it over the wall organization,” suggesting that as each department completed its task, it would throw the result over to the next department, absolving itself of any problems or difficulties that may arise (NUMMI 14). When one plant attempted to mimic NUMMI’s success, the lack of congruence became painfully evident. Langfitt described the manager’s struggle—“If he called Detroit and asked them to redesign a part that wasn’t working, they’d ask him why he was so special—they didn’t have to change it for any other plant, why should they change it for him?” (NUMMI
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