Abstract Since 1945 many Japanese companies have achieved a quality-based competitiveness. Quality Control, originating in the U.S.A. in the 1930s, was transferred to Japan and developed further. Japanese managers and private organizations responded energetically to the post-war economic crisis, solving earlier problems of poor quality and organization. Quality Control is an essential element of their corporate strategies and is widespread throughout Japanese industry. The motor industry is a vivid example of the new competitiveness, in which quality and reliability are crucial. We can profit by understanding the learning process, the self-help and initiative of company managers and private organizations in Japan.