Japanese Automobile manufacturers achieved a competitive position that was not easily imitable and then maintained the competitive positioning in international markets. To understand the making of this competitive standpoint, it is necessary to understand the chronology of its making. Japanese firms have been applauded for their manufacturing efficiency from as early as the 1980s. The physical productivity of Toyota was seen to set the standards for most international plants and operations (Cusumano, 1998). High productivity was achieved by means of process efficiency and rapid inventory turnover. In addition to the good practices that were observed by the company, the innovations in production management were one of the main reasons that Japanese automobile manufacturing was able to move ahead competitively (Herrons & Hicks, 2008). Innovations are usually original practices or the improvements that are made on some original practices.In the case of the production styles of Japan, one of the initial criticisms were that Japanese copied automobile manufacturing from the techniques of the United States.
However, this was not true. When the US manufacturing entities suffered from productivity and performance issues the Japanese firms that were established in Tennessee, Ohio and California were seen to have higher quality and productivity than any other. Neither did the Japanese automakers copy the works of European production and management. In house experimentation in the 1930s and the 1950s of Nissan and Mitsubishi was seen to help bring this competitive advantage. To a certain extent the Nissan and Mitsubishi models were built on conventional ones. However, post war producers such as Toyota was seen to avoid copying the techniques that many others of the international market relied on. Tailoring an efficient production system that will suit their beliefs seemed to be core to Toyota’s innovation management (Cusumano, 2013).