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Archive for Sunday, April 17, 2005

Briefcase

April 17, 2005

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Local Toyota dealer road trips to Japan

Miles Schnaer is back where it all began for one of his Lawrence dealerships.

Schnaer, owner of Crown Toyota, is in Japan this weekend as a member of the Toyota National Dealer Council.

Council members started their quarterly meeting last week in Torrance, Calif., where they were to huddle with executives at the headquarters for Toyota Motor Sales, the company's U.S. division. The 12-member council advises Toyota on issues ranging from future vehicle design to customer-satisfaction efforts.

The group then flew over the Pacific Ocean to tour Toyota operations in Japan, including the Tsutsumi plant, where Camry and Prius hybrid (at top) models are made. The trip also was scheduled to include a look inside Toyota's design-build operation, the secret outpost where new models are being formulated.

When he gets back Wednesday, don't expect Schnaer to spill any beans.

"We signed a confidentiality agreement that makes it so that we really don't share some of the things that they share with us ... with other people," Schnaer said. "They must value our opinions and thought processes in the future of their products."

Workplace

Dissatisfied executives to show selves door

Many executives are unhappy with their jobs and plan to make a switch, according to a survey.

Mobility is replacing stability as the hallmark of a successful career, according to the data from ExecuNet Inc., a Connecticut-based career network firm.

Sixty-one percent of 505 employed executives polled said they weren't satisfied in their current jobs. Of that group, 77 percent are planning to change jobs in the next six months.

Moreover, this group of managers has a pattern -- during the past decade, executives have switched jobs every 2.8 years and gone to a new company every 3.5 years, according to the survey.

"The revolving door on the corner office is about to pick up speed," said Dave Opton, ExecuNet's founder and CEO. "Given the stakes, retention soon will be one of corporate America's top priorities."

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