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Download Driving Honda: Inside the World’s Most Innovative Car Company Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Driving Honda: Inside the World’s Most Innovative Car Company, by Jeffrey Rothfeder Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeffrey Rothfeder Narrator: Mel Foste Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A journalist’s inside look at what makes Honda the most consistently innovative and effective automaker

Since its birth as a motorcycle company in 1949, Honda has steadily grown into the world’s fifth largest automaker and top engine manufacturer, 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 award-winning journalist 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. Honda believes in freely borrowing from the past as a bridge to “innovative discontinuity” in the present. And 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.

Rothfeder digs deep into Honda’s culture, management, and global strategy to find what makes the company tick. He offers a behind-the-scenes look at its revolutionary factory in Lincoln, Alabama, a paradigm of Honda’s unique flexible manufacturing system. At Lincoln, several different types of cars can be produced on a single assembly line any given hour, and the compact plant manufactures up to 300,000 vehicles and engines a year, making it one of the world’s most productive.

Drawing on access to dozens of high-level Honda executives, Rothfeder identifies the three core principles that every Honda employee shares, and shows how the company’s flexible manufacturing model, unique supply chain management techniques, and unorthodox (and contentious) daily brainstorming meetings are just a few keys to its success. Rothfeder makes a convincing case that Honda should serve as the model for a manufacturing rebirth in America.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Asserting that Honda is so successful because it ‘focuses on doing one thing well—making engines that last a long time’ and because it constantly ‘works to perfect this core skill,’ Rothfeder studies the company’s history, culture, and principles…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)

  • “Mel Foster’s reading is lively, as listeners would expect of a story that’s largely about a man, Soichiro Honda, who started his career by rethinking the wheel. It’s upbeat as he discusses Honda’s part in communities and its assembly streamlining. By the end, though, Foster takes on a thoughtful tone as Rothfeder offers his opinions on how corporations can do things better. It’s an interesting profile, with an argument for the importance of manufacturing that leaves listeners plenty to ponder.”


  • “The story of one of the most innovative companies in the world: the automobile manufacturer that makes some of the bestselling and longest-lasting cars on the road…A case study of the methods required to revive manufacturing industries.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, July 2014
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About the Narrator

Mel Foster is a prolific audiobook narrator, having read dozens of titles throughout his career. He is the recipient of the prestigious Audie Award, as well as the AudioFile Earphones Award. A former advertising agency executive who used to record test tracks for commercials, his narration career was born out of encouragement from his clients who would often say, “why are we hiring someone else? I like this guy.”