#4 – Flagship 1 Gets a Name

In 1936, Kiichiro Toyoda was granted a license to build cars and trucks in Japan, but the company’s name would not exactly reflect the family name. The number of strokes required to write the name “Toyoda” in Japanese is eight—which in Japanese...

#5 – Playing Chess with God

At Christmas time in 1974, we were visiting my wife Cynthia’s family in Chinook, Montana, and I had babysitting duty. Our five-month-old son, Spencer, was taking his afternoon nap. Since his birth, I had been asking questions and seeking answers...

#6 – Lost in Detroit

The long absences from my family during 1979 had created a real strain on my marriage, and the one constant that helped relieve some of the tension was that I called Cynthia every night at exactly 8:00. It was a cold and gloomy November day in...

#7 – This is Crazy!

I had been actively looking for a new job since early fall of the previous year. Anticipating leaving Chrysler, I signed a six-month lease on a home in Detroit that was up June 30, 1980. It was early February, and nothing was happening. I was...

#9 – Home at Last

I was frozen in time. It was day 58. Late afternoon on Friday, April 6, 1980, I was staring blankly out my office window. There were no job offers. My career at Chrysler was over. I couldn’t go back to my bosses and tell them I had changed my...

#11 – Striking Out

Back in the early ‘80s, Toyota sales were very strong. Most domestic dealers had a 90-day supply of cars and trucks in stock. If a domestic dealer sold 50 units a month he would carry an inventory of 150 units in stock. But Toyota dealers in the...

#12 – Transfer Trauma

I’ll always remember how I first met my wife… Beverly shoved the picture of her daughter in my face, “Next time you’re in town you should take out my daughter, Cynthia.”   I shrugged my shoulders. “Sure, why not?”   I was the Dodge...

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