One reason for Toyota Motor Corp.'s greatness is that it hasn't made strategic mistakes - until now.
Oh, Toyota has minor problems now and then. Some of its cars - like the Echo and the Japan-market WiLL Vi - don't sell. But all companies commit those blunders. Toyota commits them less often than most.
But what truly sets Toyota apart is the rarity of the strategic screw-up, the major misdirection that takes years to correct. Think of General Motors and its foray into the world of EDS and Hughes. Or Ford Motor Co. and Jacques Nasser's attempts to remake the manufacturing company as a services company.
Toyota doesn't do that. It has never forgotten that it is a maker of cars. No company sticks to its knitting better.
Despite that clear focus, I fear Toyota is making a strategic error that will haunt it for years, maybe decades: It is expanding its production capacity in Japan.