Driving Honda (Paperback)
Inside the World's Most Innovative Car Company
Portfolio, 9781591847977, 336pp.
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Since its birth as a motorcycle company in 1949, Honda has steadily grown into one of the world’s largest automakers and engine manufacturers, as well as one of the most beloved, most profitable, and most consistently innovative multinational corporations. What drives the company that keeps creating and improving award-winning and bestselling models like the Civic, Accord, Odyssey, CR-V, and Pilot?
According to Jeffrey Rothfeder, what truly distinguishes Honda from its competitors, especially archrival Toyota, is a deep commitment to a set of unorthodox management tenets. The Honda Way, as insiders call it, is notable for decentralization over corporate control, simplicity over complexity, experimentation over Six Sigma–driven efficiency, and unyielding cynicism toward the status quo and whatever is assumed to be the truth. Those are just a few of the ideas that the company’s colorful founder Soichiro Honda embedded in the DNA of his start-up sixty-five years ago.
As the first journalist allowed behind Honda’s infamously private doors, Rothfeder interviewed dozens of executives, engineers, and frontline employees about Honda’s management practices and global strategy. He shows how the company developed and maintained its unmatched culture of innovation, resilience, and flexibility—and how it exported that culture to other countries that are strikingly different from Japan, establishing locally controlled operations in each region where it lays down roots.
About the Author
Praise For Driving Honda: Inside the World's Most Innovative Car Company…
“Great investors profit by running counter to the crowd, and in this respect Rothfeder’s superb and readable book is the story of a great corporate contrarian. It explains how Honda’s idiosyncratic and often counterintuitive approaches to leadership, innovation, and growth have enabled it to prosper in a hypercompetitive industry dominated by giants.”
—John A. Casesa, senior managing director, Guggenheim Partners
“Driving Honda is a fascinating look at one of the world’s great iconoclastic corporations. Through extensive access to high-level Honda executives, Rothfeder dives deep into a corporate culture that sidesteps traditional hierarchy and remains devoted to individualism, accountability, and collaboration, proving that no organization is too large or established to stop thinking like a lean, flexible start-up.”
—Keith Ferrazzi, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone
“In this highly readable and entertaining book, Rothfeder details how Honda has successfully navigated globalization through a unique strategy. This strategy should be a model for other multinationals to follow.”
—Ray Kwong, senior advisor, USC US-China Institute, and Forbes contributor
“This highly readable book reveals the key to Honda's success: a culture of openness, innovation, and relentless commitment to quality. It's a must-read for anyone interested in the future of manufacturing in America."
—Subir Chowdhury, Author of The Power of LEO and The Power of Six Sigma
“A fascinating and insightful analysis.”
“A case study of the methods required to revive manufacturing industries.”
“Rothfeder’s inside look at research and development and details about engines, motors, and assembly lines make this book an engineering or manufacturing fanatic’s dream, but readers from all industries will enjoy this entertaining and informative work.”
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Superb…A powerful corporate parable about how sticking to your guns can lead to real success.”
—Engineering and Technology Magazine
“Clear well-researched history makes for an entertaining lesson on how a relatively modest Japanese motorcycle company took on the giants of the US automotive industry in their own backyard—and succeeded.”
—Professional Engineering Magazine