* Views expressed in this report are those of the authors.
International Management Group Assignment
Toyota Multinational Corporation Analysis in United States of America and Japan
Written By: Kenneth Bell Sarah Prest Bridget Chong
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Culture Competition/ Trends Competition Industry Trends Organisation Analysis Internal Analysis Structure Strengths in Structure Weakness in Structure Operations Design and R&D Manufacturing Sales and Service External Analysis Opportunity Problems
2 4 4 5 6 6 6 6 7 8 8 9 9 10 10 12
References 18 Appendix 20
with different attitudes towards cost estimation. and that any trouble for the oil industry inturn spells trouble for the car industry.
Despite these many strengths. the emphasis has
shifted towards product quality and customer satisfaction. A brief examination of Toyota’s competitors and industry trends reveals that Toyota’s recent growth has not been shared by its three American rivals GM. and achieving economies of scale. By focusing on market share instead of profits.EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The following Report concerns global car maker Toyota. although it is great for sales satisfaction. The
subsidiary’s production efficiency is inferior to that of the parent companies. Ford and Chrysler. Inside we discover that Toyota has reached a global market share of 10%.
The lack of
communication and cultural understanding has caused friction between operations in the two countries.
. the need in American culture for horsepower. such as forming a close relationship with Honda and leading the way in hybrid technology. cost estimation. R&D. and
standardising production methods. Toyota uses a geographic-area global structure. as their policy of helping customers in need of financial support is increasing the lead time for receiving sales income. Its key strengths include product quality. most notably between the individualism in America and collectivism in Japan. and sales satisfaction.
The report recommends that increased communication is the key to Toyota’s future success. By unifying executive training. An analysis of the cultural differences between America and
Japan reveals some significant differences. Toyota is also
taking advantage of numerous opportunities. and (perhaps most importantly) the lack of improvement suggestions by American employees relative to their Japanese counterparts. efficiency of production. with a goal to be the world’s best auto manufacturer ahead of General Motors (GM). by achieving 15%. and its American subsidiary: Toyota America. better understanding each other’s culture. and is decentralised. Toyota and Toyota America will become closer to one another in terms of product quality and production efficiency. Toyota is not without its share of problems.
Geert Hofstede’s value dimensions show America is less accepting of power inequality than Japan. Conversely. 1986). and their impact on management.
The subject of this International Management report is the Japanese auto maker Toyota. The analysis of the countries key cultural
differences is used to understand Toyota’s structure (both global and operational). Finally. and its subsidiary Toyota America. also its competitors. These factors are why Toyota is increasing its market share. seeking the best group outcomes (Bond. goals and opportunities. On the Power Difference Index (PDI) both Japan and America are below the world average (W. in accordance with Toyota’s own policy of constant
improvement. Japan is also below W. before we specifically examine Toyota we need to briefly observe the fundamental differences between Japanese and American culture.A).A for
individualism. there is an outline of what the companies current and potential problems are perceived to be and recommendations of how the company can overcome them. preferring group work and group decision making.
Geert Hofstede’s value dimensions for America and Japan are as follows:
Source: Geert Hofstede. having a collective culture. 2003
There are great contrasts and the occasional similarity when analysing the two nation’s cultures (Japan and America). weaknesses. America is ranked the highest in the world for individualism. becoming more dominant and is feeling less threatened by competitors. having great emphasis on individual decision making and seeking positive outcomes for the individual/family. its strengths.
Japan is a neutral culture. comparing to America who prefer short term planning. setting long term
culture is Long Term Orientation. being less reliant on rules/regulations and happy to make their own decisions. Japan is a male dominated society with work taking priority over personal life/families. being a diffuse-orientated society. In contrast Japan is a particularistic as they are based on relationships and interpersonal trust. placing more emphasis on contracts. Americans prefer to take risks. Both (allegedly) have a high time sensitivity (91% and 85%). Furthermore. the differences in negotiating culture between Japan and America shown in Salacuse’s 1998 study show some surprising results. rewards and goals.According to Hofstede’s study Japan is considered to be a masculine society in comparison to Americans who have a relaxed lifestyle and show concern for others. but on their background.
America is also known to be universalistic. opting to separate their work and private life. aiming for advancement. Japan and America (55% and 54%) both consider the ultimate goal of negotiation to be a contract.
goals for long term rewards.
Using a select few of Trompenaars’s Value Dimensions further exemplifies the differences between the American and Japanese cultures. success and money. as it applies one standard. in contrast to Japan who prefers rules/regulations and less informality. America is said to be a specific-orientated culture. whereas in Japan the two are linked. showing little (if any) emotion in business discussions.
Yet another significant contrast between Japan and America can be seen with Uncertainty Avoidance. and believe in top-down agreement building (45%
. friendship comes before the contract. compared with America where emphasis is placed on individual achievement. with body contact and emotional expression the norm. the main discrepancy between Japanese and American Japan prefers to plan well ahead. Japan is also known as an ascription society where people are rewarded not on individual task. in comparison America has an affective culture. However.
Source: Autodata 2005. Garsten. All six companies compete in the lucrative American market. 2005).and 47%). with a general trend swinging away from the American big three. Japan’s belief in win-win negotiation conflicts with America’s emphasis on win-lose. as opposed to America’s direct (low context).
. Ford. Honda and Nissan.
The major players in the global automotive manufacturing industry are known as the Japanese and American big three. and Japan’s preference for formal negotiating styles rather than the informal approach preferred by their American counterparts. towards the Japanese automakers (Garsten. The American big three consist of GM. while the Japanese big three are Toyota. Differences in the negotiating cultures include Japan’s indirect (high context) communication.
8% share of the U.
Automotive design is increasingly geared towards the electronic components.
Honda: Has an 8. 2005). The Honda Civic has lost ground to the Ford Focus recently. 2001).2% in 1990. 2002).
Chrysler: The smallest of the big three. had an American domestic market share of just 13% in 2004 with risk of soon being surpassed by Toyota (12. ‘thinking brakes’ engines controlled by powerful CPUs becoming almost standard. The company is 36.2% share).
. In an attempt to increase
profitability. Vehicle electronics now account for roughly 22% of a vehicle’s production costs (Altera. with Multimedia systems. Their strength lies in their Four Wheel drive Jeeps and Pickups. when Nissan was on the brink of bankruptcy (CNN.000 workers in America in recent years.3% in 2004. GM has fired or made redundant roughly 25. yet the Acura and Pilot continue to sell well (Garsten. and blames employee health benefits and pensions. Attributed to CEO Carlos Ghosn.S domestic market. has been losing market share steadily. 2005). Strength lies in its SUVs (eg Explorer).2% share of the American market. Its key strength is its operating margins (the best in the world). and its F-150 Pickup.8% owned by Renault. from 23. However. to 18. of America’s big three. and Ford Focus (Edmunds.3% in 2004.
Nissan: Has undergone a recent turnaround.General Motors: A long established American manufacturer with a declining share in the domestic market from 35.5% in 1999 to 27. dubbed miraculous by many. cental locking. Chrysler is the only one to increase its market share over the past decade. among other things for its slump in profits (The Economist. 2005).
Ford: Like GM. and has a 5. who took control of the company in 1999.9% in 1990. increasing from 6. GPS.
2006). In an attempt to increase their own profitability in turn.
. such as SUVs and 4WD’s.Currently the fortunes of the automotive industry lie with the international oil market. This section analyses the strengths and
weaknesses of the organisational structure and operations of Toyota America.
There is also an increased trend towards production efficiency and the elimination of waste. One relatively new trend in the automobile industry designed to combat this is the development of cars and trucks with superior fuel economy. 2005). 2004). have in recent years. and millions of dollars of research being spent on the development of fuel cells (The Economist. especially in comparison to its competitors (Deresky. and the possibility of war with Iran. hybrid technology. which has increased profitability immensely. the price of oil per barrel has been increasing (and thus the affordability and appeal of automobiles decreasing). focusing on current and potential strengths and weaknesses (Wheelen & Hunger. American manufacturers GM and Ford. 2001). which they claim adds $1.
ORGANISATION ANALYSIS Internal Analysis
The internal analysis identifies and develops the organisation’s resources. opted to layoff tens of thousands of workers. and have fought to reduce employee health benefits.500 to the production cost per car (Levin. With numerous political threats facing the major oil producing regions (Middle-East and Africa). This
information can be used to the organisation’s strategic advantage. This has negatively affected the sales of high fuel consumption vehicles. This follows Toyota’s success with their production method.
Toyota America personnel (whether staff or management) have the same uniform. whilst engaging in company songs. compared with Ford having a centralised structure (Fang & Kleiner. 2003). who are having industrial relations problems (Professional Engineering. strong management support is crucial a centralised structure.500US. This structure benefits the
organisation by focusing on activities in local American market conditions. ceremonies and social gatherings as one (Fang & Kleiner. job
security. p. product modification and share decision making. car-park and cafeteria. grouping the organisation activities. 2003).
The result is relatively flat hierarchy and management tends to be decentralised. Toyota
maintains a good employee relationship by sharing concerned for their total welfare and uses this to motivating employees. job enrichment and led to employee commitment and achievement of Toyota’s overall goal (Jacobs & Herbig. including management.
Toyota’s competitor’s GM and Ford have reduced their employee compensation benefits severely. However. 1999). Benefits at Toyota include skill improvement
. In contrast. This builds and sustains Toyota’s strong culture. This method is most frequently used in their Research and Development department. 1998). by geographic regions (Deresky. as it reduces their production costs per car by $1. showing concern for local customers’ needs (Aghazadeh. 2003). as demonstrated by Ford. 2006). Competitive advantage may
arise from the production or sale of a product adapted to a particular country (Deresky 2006). As Toyota employs a bottom-up approach. further strengthening Toyota America. This wellbeing corporatism gave rise to employee empowerment.118) explains “management and labour share a
common oneness in an effort to minimise the differences”. employees participate in new product development.Structure
Strengths in Structure
Toyota has a global geographic structure. Fang & Kleiner (2003.
provide an opportunity for American employees to experience and fit into 10
. The business culture in Toyota insists on
equality. low interest rate loans. strong guidance from top management is necessary to avoid a potential weakness if top management and staff do not interact or work together effectively and efficiently (Jacobs & Herbig. being one of their strengths as designers and engineers are locally employed (Toyota Motor Sales USA.
as much as possible to reduce waste and harm to the environment.
This section analyses the strengths and weakness of Toyota’s three main operations. 1998). management fail to give out specific and detailed work plans on these new products to employees (Fang & Kleiner. 2003). Thus.
Design and R&D
The vehicle production in Toyota America meet local tastes and standards. in California and Toyota Technical Centre (R&D) in Michigan. housing subsidies.workshops. thus taking time for American employees to adapt to a Japanese organisation (Aghazadeh. A level of ambiguity is considered
healthy generating creative and innovative ideas. It also creates local jobs and fulfils their social responsibility as a Toyota is environmentally friendly. whilst leaving room for discussion by top management and staff.
Weaknesses in Structure
As mentioned above. 2004). 2006). drawbacks occur because of differences in the national and business cultures of Japan and America.
Toyota’s Calty Design Research Inc. 2003). recycling
multinational corporation (Taylor.
Toyota’s top management play a key strategic role in the development of new products. compared with the Japanese collective culture. The national culture of American is highly individualist. however. access to recreational facilities and retirement allowance (Fang & Kleiner. 2003).
longer payment terms and pay early discount. Under TPS. 2003). 2006). USA 2006).
. In addition. adhere to Toyota production system (TPS) which continues to be the world benchmark in quality and has less workers needed to produce each car than its competitors (Deresky.58 hours respectively (Deresky. 2003).000 local jobs (Toyota Motor Sales.
Toyota America has twelve successful manufacturing plants across America.000 vehicles. when the parent company gives autonomy to its American subsidiary it risks problems arising from the divergence of the organisations overall goals (Aghazadeh. taking 24. with Toyota America using a global geographic structure. Consequently. GM and Chrysler as they had not improved their operations for some years (Strategic Direction. recognising social responsibility and directly creating over 45. with benefits such as significant discounts.the Toyota corporate culture (Fang & Kleiner. losses in efficiency and economies of scales are experienced (Aghazadeh.63 hours. Conversely. along with quality (Shimokawa. Toyota’s JIT system improved productivity
Toyota America often purchases it parts and materials from minority and women-owned businesses locally. 2003).87 and 32. TPS efficiently utilize resources to produce materials using a repetitive and reliable system eliminating waste (Fang & Kleiner. 2006). purchasing local materials
reduces the transportation cost and overcomes the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Barriers. the production costs increase as the company forgoes
taking advantages on bulk buying.
Just-in-time (JIT) provided great opportunities for Toyota to strive above its competitors and the big three in Ford. However. The time spent manufacturing each vehicle is 21. 2005). 1994). 2003). being much more efficient than Ford and GM. the annual factory
capacity increases by 260.
Sales and Service
Toyota America creates excellent relationships with its dealers. Toyota America therefore determines customer satisfaction
with its products and makes improvement based on these suggestions (Jacobs & Hergig.
Toyota has a global geographic structure with subsidiaries and plants all over the world. However. which encourage vehicle purchases from all levels of society (Toyota Motor Sales USA. p. 2006).64). Also. 2006).
. and payment schemes for customers. 2001. whose profit margins have been increasing every year since 1997. in order to increase sales. 1998). Toyota America will be analysed in terms of the opportunities
and problems they are currently facing and their likely contributing factors. as it continually surveys its product users to target new ideas or recognise problems (Toyota Motor Sales USA.
A high emphasis on customer satisfaction is one of Toyota America’s strengths. Martin. 2004). becoming the second largest auto manufacturer worldwide after GM (Deresky.
Toyota Financial Services (TFS) enhances sales for Toyota America. This constitutes an outstanding strength in sales for Toyota America. potentially affecting the credit rating of Toyota America. 2006). Toyota’s external environment relates to “major forces outside the organisation with potential to influence significantly their products and services” (Bartol. Tein and Matthews. it is evident that sales profits have a longer lead time which may lead to increase bad debts. which provide great local distribution channels for Toyota vehicles (Toyota Motor Sales USA. since it has several programs such as leasing vehicles. 2006). using these programs. a huge amount of capital’s need to invest in
training salespeople to adapt to different cultures (Taylor.
competing on a global scale (in foreign markets) are miles above the rest. Information is shared intensively but also selectively. Toyota’s contributing factors would be pure global dominance (Hartel & Lloyd. Industry work has The recognition of
being one of the world’s 100 best managed global companies provides a lot of positive
International management opportunities for Toyota America stem directly or indirectly from its parent company in Japan.
Toyota has formed a close relationship with another large automotive manufacturer. sub-assemblers and distributors. Toyota’s Head Quarters in Japan delegate the final decision-making to the countries executives. named Toyota one of the world’s 100 best managed companies. 2006. GM and Chrysler (Fang & Kleiner. The key contributing factor is worth more than the American big three put together in terms of market capitalisation and greater than Nissan and Honda in Japan. 2003). 2004). 2004). all of which make Toyota a very attractive company to invest in (Shimokawa. as well as increased efficiency of information flow between countries (Weihrich. Toyota has
undergone dramatic growth spurts in global markets over the past four years. 1999. 1998). Toyota sets the standard in
efficiency. implementing the best deal in these global markets (Deresky. productivity and quality in the auto manufacturing industry. 2006). in America it is President Jim Press (Herbig & Jacobs. Hartel & Lloyd. to enable them to conduct
joint improvement activities and turn supplier rivalry into opportunity (Strategic Direction. Toyota has a decentralised global geographical
structure providing diverse opportunities for the American subsidiary (Deresky. 1994). and has equity strategic alliances with suppliers.
Toyota operates in foreign markets bringing it many opportunities for industrial expansion into certain products or services. and is the envy of rivals such as Ford.
Toyota America has grown to be the third largest auto producer and the fifth largest industrial company in the world (Fang & Kleiner. 2003). 1994). Toyota can therefore expand their opportunities by obtaining
relationships with other companies willing to give information. Honda. 2005).
opportunities for Toyota.
venture yielded valuable lessons in labour-management cooperation and gave GM access to Toyota’s manufacturing expertise and provided Toyota with a manufacturing base in America (Fang & Kleiner. With high fuel prices. 1985). enhancing growth and opportunities (Deresky. America should take leads from Japan’s 23% market share in their country. Deresky. Toyota America could also consider doing this with cars that would suit their consumers (Weihrich.
Toyota has driven its consumers to purchase Japanese imported Toyota cars that are high quality and fuel economic (Shimokawa. 2003. 1994). Altshuler. 1985).
Companies in today’s world are ever-changing. Roos and Womack. Toyota America is financially and legally separate
from its parent company. 1999).
Further. Jones. importing nearly thirteen times more cars than they export (Anderson. This could be done by forming operations in
third-world countries with manufacturing done there. and therefore Toyota needs to change their strategies and (accordingly) their structure when necessary.
Toyota America is committed to an open trade ideology. being independent and able to make its own decisions (Anderson et al. as it substantially reduces costs through labour. 2006). Toyota Japan now sells German Audi’s and Volkswagon’s in its
dealership (Weihrich. Top management therefore have the opportunity to make global
and national decisions to expand operations and reap benefits world-wide (Chandler. 1999). Toyota America is leading the way in hybrid electrics en route to ‘full scale fuel-cell electric cars’ is Toyota America (Weihrich. 2006). Toyota’s latest future plans are to expand worldwide and to engage in manufacturing overseas. 1985). 1964). 1999). and have substantial market share in other countries to obtain opportunities from. as did their joint venture internationally with GM. if financially beneficial (Anderson et al.
In Japan. appealing to their consumers (Taylor. Americans instead of designing a product and then determining its costs. 1998). rather than relying on engineers.
Problems arise at Toyota between American Executives and Japanese Engineers. whereas American Engineers want to know from their perspective whether it can be manufactured (Herbig & Jacobs. this just does not happen in America.
international managements perspectives of the companies operations in different geographical locations across countries (Herbig & Jacobs. design their product on target costs based on what the market place will bear (Herbig & Jacobs. Toyota Japan has a vision for the
next decade. 1998). should not have seized other production until he was certain hybrids would be financially successful. 2006. Problems result as a form of threat from companies or industries They also result from
that Toyota deal with in terms of competition (Weihrich. 1998). He did have a valid point. and to decrease the production time (Deresky. Contributing factors to this problem are that
they need to engage in overseas manufacturing to enhance their growth and opportunities. in comparison to Toyota America being for the next quarter (Herbig and Jacobs. 1999). 1998). Japanese Engineers consider
the impact of the car design on costs or manufacturability.
American President of Toyota. 1998). where as Japan wants smaller engines that consume minimal fuel. 2004). Herbig & Jacobs. appealing to American consumers. being that hybrids have more growth potential. that their problems are limited. Jim Press seized 13% of the American market for Toyota automobiles. being a global company are so diverse and financially viable.
Toyota employees themselves take initiative to study the task at hand. 1998).
therefore allowed space for this model in their market.Problems
. The constant tension results because America wants larger engines with more horsepower. Japanese Toyota believes they can release new products to the market in half the time the Americans can (Herbig and Jacobs. Press however.
Another problem in Toyota America is product time and the companies’ vision.
and suffers development setbacks in a larger proportion due to lack of planning (Herbig and Jacobs. 1998). reduction in costs or improving morale.
which displays negative publicity globally as they are not exactly a luxury car like BMW’s or Audi’s (Halliday. This is
Toyota executives in America admit there is a problem with customer service. Toyota America is also known to spend minimal time planning new
products. The contributing factor is that Japanese companies accept 80% of employee suggestions. On the other hand. Toyota America received 8% of employees lodging suggestions.
. as they have the highest sales per outlet in the country (Taylor. something the top management need to review and rectify.being proactive. 1964).
Toyota America has issues and problems that were identified in the internal and external analysis based on structure. 2004).
The car maker’s policy is “slow and steady”. 2004). Suggestions are “not mandatory for Toyota personnel. operations and international management problems in the organisation. They are also behind Ford and GM.146). p. but workers who do not contribute are criticised and may receive smaller bonuses” (Herbig & Jacobs. The main contributing factor is that Toyota
dealers have grown too fast. and will only benefit from realistic solutions and recommendations to the analysis of its issues and problems.
America also has a problem of effectiveness in their formal suggestion program. Toyota suggestion program is very effective in Japan as 65-70% of all employees’ submitted suggestions for increase in efficiency. as Toyota has a less
structured policy dealing with integration and production (Chandler. 1998). being one of the largest and most recognised
automotive producers in the world. but believe they are dealing with it (Taylor. compared to only 25% adoption in America (Herbig & Jacobs. Toyota is a global operation. 1998. 2005). rather than reactive.
which is a good structure for Toyota’s massive enterprise. Perhaps the horizontal differentiation of a matrix design should be
implemented to bring in more coordination at Toyota. They must ensure that employees know what
new products are coming out and have specific plans on their manufacturing and production. A solution to this current weakness would be to have top management/executive meet electronically with all plants globally. 1986).
As Toyota is using a global geographic structure. Japan (being the parent company) needs to have some sort of training in their country for American executives. to ensure that common goals and targets are set. Top management must also ensure they remain in close contact with
employees to build their morale and achieve the most efficient and effective relationships possible (Fang & Kleiner. Also to set the same level of efficiency
required for each stage of production and the achievement of economies of scale.
Implementation of a transnational strategy that is locally responsive and cost effective is a consideration Toyota should be aware of.
Management also need to communicate and be more specific with employees when giving out work plans on new products. Vertical differentiation consists of a mixture of centralisation and decentralisation. America also needs to train the Japanese management to be aware of its culture and the differences between the two countries. 2003). division managers and employees forming relationships (Deresky. and to manage Toyota globally.There are drawbacks due to cultural differences when comparing America to Japan.
. to ensure all plants are expected to do the same work per worker. 2006). management must ensure that efficiency and economies of scale are met. Time devoted to educating and training
managers on cultural differences will be well spot. through communication amongst head managers. so they can understand the collective culture of Japan in comparison to America’s individualistic approach according to Hofstede’s study (Bond.
They need to review their production times. 1998).The minority and women-owned businesses are supported by Toyota. Perhaps they should have a slogan that relates more directly to their operations – like “efficient and effective”.
service also portrays a positive message to the public. Toyota could rectify Toyota
this by purchasing only from bulk buyers to increase savings on their purchases. This shows the public their compassion and concern. and what needs to change for Toyota to remain consistent with Japan. To do this they could have electronic meetings to discuss ideas and come up with a common design. 1998).
. and are hardly producing BMW’s or Porsche’s (Herbig & Jacobs. also as Japan’s production is substantially faster.
show more initiative and desire towards studying the tasks. it consequently disadvantages Toyota. They could also have Japanese
engineers visit the American plant to show them their design. cost and process for all automobiles. They also need to review each customer asking for this service to ensure they can pay it back in the near future. but financially costs Toyota a substantial amount. learn their ways. This system needs reviewing. forgoing their discount for bulk buying and early payments. Again there are great differences between executives in Japan and America. also has programs to support customers who need financial assistance. They have completely different ideas when it comes to design. If they receive a negative response then they should not allow these customers
such a loan. as they
are a medium car company in terms of quality. as Japan employees take a lot of initiative.
Toyota has problems externally which are limited considering their size and diversity. as the sales may have increased but the lead time of receiving money for sales has increased also. These problems need to be rectified if Toyota is going to maintain its
strong corporate culture and common consensus across the globe (Herbig & Johns. Toyota also need to reconsider their policy of “slow and steady”. Toyota may need to put a time limit on
payment to ensure they receive the money and decrease their bad debts. Toyota may need to engage in overseas manufacturing to enhance their growth They also need to encourage employees to
opportunities and decrease production time. cost and process of manufacturing of automobiles.
This could be achieved by staff
meetings with each department and their manager. 1998). By increasing communication between parent and subsidiary. but affecting the development of economies of scale. problems and misunderstandings (such as Japanese engineers not understanding the importance of horsepower to Americans) will occur less frequently. over time a degree of consistency can be achieved across Toyota’s management. Toyota is leading the world in auto manufacturing efficiency.
In Conclusion. Toyota needs to review is their suggestion program in America. With the company having a decentralised geographical-area structure. as only 8% of employees lodge suggestions (Herbig & Jacobs. whereby employees are why they do not make recommendations and what would encourage them to do so. By better understanding cultural norms and values. and by standardising executive training across both nations. The differences in culture which have in the past served as obstacles should instead be embraced. If all this can be achieved. Management
then need to look at implementing these recommendations. Toyota’s goal of a 15% world market share could soon become a reality. conflict between the two regions will always be a possibility.Finally. with the ultimate aim to learn from each other. to promote them with staff. A lack of adequate communication between the American and Japanese departments is not only causing friction. in the hope of improving both operations. but still has room for improvement.
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