By on December 8, 2011

Automotive News Europe [sub] spotted a new trend in Tokyo: Daredevil CEOs:

“On Nov. 27, Toyota boss Akio Toyoda wowed a crowd of spectators in Japan by racing through a lineup of Lexus LFA supercars in the new Toyota 86 sporty coupe. One day later, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito hopped on a Honda MotoGP racing motorcycle and blasted around the company’s Twin Ring Motegi racetrack.”


Actually, the industry rag should know that Akio Toyoda is an active racer, under the nome de plume “Morizou,” he races for Team Gazoo. He is also a feared testdriver.

Automotive News’ Tokyo correspondent Hans Greimel even scored a ride-along with Toyoda.

But what about Carlos Ghosn? We know that he privately drives a GT-R to go fast, and a Leaf to go shopping. So will there be any stunts from him? Automotive News Europe doesn’t know either:

 “No word yet on whether Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn plans to jump 10 buses in a Leaf, but don’t rule it out before the show wraps up Dec. 11.”

Fat chance. Ghosn left Tokyo and Yokohama right after the press days. Jump officially ruled out. When Ghosn wants to fly, he simply flaps his wings.

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6 Comments on “New Trends In Far Eastern Management: Evil Knievel CEOs...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    The ultimate perk of being an auto company CEO: Getting to ride Casey Stoner’s MotoGP bike – and not having to worry if he bins it.

    This can’t be a bad development. Granted, the average car buyer couldn’t give a damn about absolute performance, but having the bigwigs caring usually trickles down into a better driving car for even the most uncaring Camry buyer.

  • avatar
    tikki50

    agreed 100% however I would think Takanobu had the better ride, a true winning Moto GP machine or some generic half-breed lexus? I’d take the GP bike all day long.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    This trend will continue from the qualified downward until somebody gets killed.

    I could be wrong though. I had expected RPJ’s idiotic rally-bred test drives on public roads, followed by a string of unqualified middle-management in expensive prototype vehicles, to end-up with some innocent, or participant, getting killed. TTBOMK that never occurred before Jac flew the coop and RPJ’s role diminished.

  • avatar
    John R

    Recent films are probably inspiring…

    http://tinyurl.com/bvz8nmv

  • avatar

    The more Toyodas, Uhlenhauts at the top the better for car companies.

  • avatar

    Former Honda president, Takeo Fukui, made his early career in the motorbike division at Honda and yet pushed for Honda F1 return and got to test drive the F1 car. Current Honda president, Takanobu Ito, did development work on the NSX and yet rides the MotoGP machine after also riding from Tokyo to damaged Tohoku Honda units on his personal bike just after the 3/11 earthquake.
    Go figure.

    Also, Carlos Ghosn might not spend his week-ends in nomex overalls, but his sidekick ex-Nissan vice-prez and current Renault honcho Carlos Tavares does. He was at Fuji last Saturday test driving the current Nissan race cars (in the rain) as he does every year.

    Put those guys in their own company machines (Japanese Super GT Lexus, Honda and GT-R would do nicely) and let’s have a (real, 200 mph in the straights) race. Doesn’t matter who wins, that would make for some great PR for the Japanese auto industry.


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