Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Friday it would consider liquidating its stake in a California-based joint venture with General Motors Corp (GMGMQ.PK) after the U.S. automaker pulled out of the venture. The venture started 25 years ago and it was originally set up in an attempt to help GM learn  more about Toyota’s Lean manufacturing technique. Toyota was looking for a US presence to help them deal with import restrictions imposed on them by the US government in an attempt to help protect US automakers from Japanese competition.

How has that worked out?

Toyota surpassed GM as the world’s largest automobile manufacture in 2008, while GM begged for a government bailout and declared bankruptcy. Over two decades later Toyota continues to practice lean in a culture dedicated to continuous innovation and improvement, US automakers GM and Chrysler seek government handouts. It seems as if American managers are, for some reason, immune to learning the quality improvement approach that was invented in the USA. Until they manage to do so, expect to see continued declines and job losses.

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