GOD OF HOPE

Lexus – God, Guts, & Aspirin

#1 – God, Guts, and Aspirin

These are the inside stories about the launch of the Lexus Division of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. 25 years ago and the parts that God, guts, and aspirin played in its success.   God Something as difficult and challenging as launching a new luxury division in the...

#2 – Yuki Togo and the Emperor’s Son

It was December of 1986. I was the Cincinnati General Manger for Toyota, responsible for the states of Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. My assistant, Nyoka Haynes, came running into my office saying, “Mr. McCurry is on the line.” I shuddered and braced myself,...

#3 – A Secret Meeting with the Governor

Yuki drew close and pulled a letter from his suit coat. “This is my letter of resignation,” he said. “I have told Chairman Toyoda and Dr. Toyoda that I will resign if this new channel fails. This will take guts, Dave-san, guts! Now, I’m counting on you.” My mind took...

#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 culture is considered...

#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. Who am I? Where am I?...

#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 Grand Rapids, Michigan,...

#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 getting worried and...

#8 – Committing Career Suicide

It was Tuesday, March 4, and 25 of the 60 days had passed. My boss, Frank Hoag, the Detroit Regional Manger, went along with me to meet with Hank Savoy, the Central Area Field Manger for Chrysler. Lee Iacocca had come over from Ford, replacing John Riccardo to run...

#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 mind and would accept the...

#10 – You Can’t Say No to Mr. Makino

Isao Makino had been president of Toyota Motor Sales, USA beginning in 1975. Small in stature with a square jaw and a serious but unforced smile, he was a no-nonsense Japanese president who had the respect of all the dealers and associates. He traveled one week a...

#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 Denver region had less...

#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 District Manager for...