Call it tall poppy syndrome. Even as the world’s largest automaker’s fell into the U.S. new car sales quagmire, Toyota’s critics slated the brand’s quality “issues.” The Detroit News [sub] reports that freshly-minted CEO Akio Toyoda has ticked all the boxes in his efforts to reassure his stakeholders (as opposed to steak holders) and say the right thing to everyone about everything. “Toyoda emphasized the company’s core principles, including the need to produce clean vehicles for the benefit of society. But, he said, ‘we must do it in a way that’s affordable to today’s customers.’ That is the key challenge for the industry, which is ‘at a point where we must re-invent the automobile.’ But Toyoda, a racing enthusiast, said one of his objectives as head of the company was to inject excitement into the lineup. He said Toyota planned to develop an affordable, fun-to-drive sports car in the next few years but did not elaborate.” So green, affordable, [somewhat] exciting, affordable and . . . what was that again? High quality. How come the DetN didn’t put that in a direct quote?
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