Business is a team sport. While history textbooks -- and business magazines -- tend to lionize individual leaders from Henry Ford to Steve Jobs, there would be no Ford Motor or Apple without groups of employees working together to design, manufacture, market, and sell their products. Fortune set out to highlight successful teams and quickly discovered that there's no single formula for making them work.
We found highly effective groups consisting of people who'd worked together for years and productive "virtual" teams that span multiple time zones and companies. Some teams vacation together to strengthen their bonds, others encourage dissent -- but all in the name of getting results. Still, there are some universal lessons to be gleaned: Chemistry matters. So does having a common goal. And while there's no one way to build strong teams, you can't build a successful company without them.
丰田早在1992年就已经开始研究燃料电池技术。丰田相信，燃料电池汽车比普通的电池动力汽车拥有更广阔的前景。过去10年里，燃料电池汽车的动力系统成本下降了95%。这个改进部分程度上要归功于它用到的许多零件已经先期为丰田的混动车型开发出来了。另外，它的组装工艺也有了显著改进。这个团队的负责人马特•麦克克罗瑞介绍称，燃料电池汽车已经通过了一个关键的测试：在耶洛奈夫零下三十度的极端环境下，一辆传统的汽油动力后勤车在停放了一晚上之后，怎么也打不着火，但燃料电池汽车却可以完美地点火启动——Alex Taylor III
To test its new tech, the fuel-cell group went road-tripping.
Over the past three years, members of the fuel-cell vehicle group have logged more than 1 million test miles in certifying Toyota's first-ever production fuel-cell car: a zero-emission, electric drive, four-door sedan that can travel 300 miles and be refueled in three minutes. On trips lasting weeks at a time, the nine-member group, based in Torrance, Calif., has taken the car from Yellowknife, Canada, to Death Valley, Calif., with stops in between in Las Vegas, San Francisco, and the Rockies.
Using classic automotive test protocol, the team installed the fuel-cell components in nondescript older cars known as engineering mules and traveled caravan-style with support vehicles. Three technicians handled the driving (technicians are renowned at Toyota for their ability to calibrate suspensions with their posteriors) while four engineers monitored the powertrain.
Due to be introduced in the U.S. next year, the car, which as yet has no official name, will initially be sold in California with a subsequent rollout to the Northeast, and Toyota (TM), optimistically, has already boosted its production targets.
The carmaker has been working on fuel cells since 1992 and now believes they have greater potential for development than similar battery-powered cars. Powertrain costs have been reduced 95% over the past 10 years, partly by including the use of parts already developed for Toyota hybrids. Packaging the bulky components has been significantly streamlined. Team leader Matt McClory says the fuel-cell car has already passed one key test: In the bitter -30° cold at Yellowknife, a conventional gas-powered rental car being used as a support vehicle failed to start after a cold night. The fuel-cell car fired up flawlessly. --Alex Taylor III