Reshoring in France, is it possible?

Offshoring or Reshoring? Answer by Reynald Debaut-Henocque


While the majority of industries chooses to offshore their factories in order to reduce labour costs, Toyota Motor Corporation has decided to establish a factory in France in 1999, for the manufacture of Yaris models. Reynald Debaut-Henocque, ex-vice-president of production at Toyota Motor Manufacturing France, explains his opinion on this topic.



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PM: Offshoring and Reshoring in industry. We've been talking about it for decades now and it's still happening in all sorts of ways. I'm with Reynald Debaut-Henocque, who is the ex-Vice-President of Manufacturing of Toyota France. He's had a long career in that factory in France producing impossibly some small segment B cars, making money, growing and soforth. It's showing that it's possible to do all this in France. So I'd like him to explain how he reacts when he hears these stories or these ideas of why you have to offshore because of costs of labour... Because, as I said, he's lived his entire career proving that this is wrong, concretely, 200 miles from here, by making cheap cars with expensive French people and [Toyota Yaris] getting elected "best car of the year", making money, growing, getting through the pandemic easily etc. So when you hear about offshoring or reshoring on the television Reynald, what's your reaction?


RDH: My reaction is to think that Toyota was initiator of the Reshoring process in Europe because it decided in 1998 to implement a new plant producing segment B cars. It was absolutely unbelievable because all other car manufacturer or other industries were doing more of offshoring, taking more of offshoring directions than reshoring. Because nobody was speaking about it. But it is possible, because now the plant has been existing for more than 20 years and there is a good future for this plant. This means for me - what we have done with Toyota, reshoring a plant in France - is possible for all other manufacturing activities, either airplane or any other types of activities, we can reshore. And how to proceed? Please come and have a look at our training session about Good Lean and Bad Lean!


PM: Thank you. Yes, we regularly host regular training sessions about Good Lean and Bad Lean. Reynald explains the secret of what they've done with Toyota to make that an extraordinary story possible. I repeat: they produce one third of the cars in France now in this 5000 person factory, they make money. It's a small, low-margin, segment B car. Everybody else says it's impossible, they've run away and they're doing it offshore now. And yet, in France, with expensive French people, they [TMMF] are doing it and got elected "best car of the year" etc. So, the sky is the limit. The training talks about the Good Lean and about the Bad Lean which, I know from my experience, is often happening when people try and copy the Toyota way and get it wrong or when they miss chapters like long-term partnership with suppliers, Lean Engineering and other things. So, that is the training course, it would, we hope, enalble you to become the Toyota of your business. If you are interested, join us for our training session.

Marris Consulting, expert in Theory of Constraints & Critical Chain Project Management


Marris Consulting is an expert in the Theory of Constraints (ToC) and Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM). As industry consultants, we are focused on helping process and manufacturing industries reach their highest levels of performance by using Constraints Management  combined with Lean and Six Sigma. We also use Critical Chain Project Management which we sometimes combine with Lean engineering to improve project performance. If you are unsure about the actions which need to be implemented to improve operational efficiency, our industrial management consultants can also conduct a performance audit. Furthermore, our experts host numerous Theory of Constraints (ToC), lean and project management training sessions throughout the year.

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About Marris Consulting

Marris Consulting is an industry consulting and training company specialized in the Theory of Constraints (ToC) and Critical Chain Project Management. We focus on improving the performance of manufacturing and process industries by using Constraints Management combined with Lean and Six Sigma. To boost project performance, we also use Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), which we sometimes combine with Lean Engineering. Our 2-day performance audits, our performance consulting services and our project management, Lean, ToC & CCPM training by our industry consultants offer a wide range of solutions to help our clients around the world reach the highest possible levels of performance.

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