The authors contend that there is more to Toyota's success than its well-known Toyota Production system. They identify several contradictions to illustrate:
1)It cultivates frugality, AND spends big to develop people and projects.
2)Moves forward slowly and gradually, AND makes big leaps.
3)It is operationally efficient AND filled with redundancy.
How to make use of these points, however, is not made clear; for example, #3 is illustrated by Toyota having excess people in sales and meetings. The value of doing so, however, was not made clear.
The most interesting portion of the book involved a few relatively unknown facts. Toyota's dividend payouts are low, averaging 20% of earnings over the past ten years (Daimler-Chrysler = 47.5%.) The result is a cash hoard ($20 billion in 2007), and a mediocre ROIC. Average compensation for its top 33 executives is about 10% of Ford's. Finally, the founding Toyoda family owns just 2% of the firm, vs. Ford (40%), and BMW (50%). So much for several American common practices.