Change Toyota Can Believe In

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
change toyota can believe in

On this day of change, Toyota is returning to its roots, announcing the appointment of Akio Toyoda as its new President. Toyoda will inherit his grandfather’s firm from Katsuaki Watanabe, just as Toyota is facing its greatest challenges in years. Even Watanabe recognizes the need for change, telling the Wall Street Journal “times have changed completely and … it really requires very bold reform and something that is outside of the box.” And Toyoda hopes to reach back to the foundational principles his grandfather endowed to his firm, while injecting a relatively youthful perspective (Toyoda is 52 years old). “I will go back to the basics of the foundation of the company,” says Toyoda. “But at the same time I am not bound by past history. I intend to exercise as much boldness as possible in pushing ahead with the reforms.” Though a Toyoda hasn’t led the firm since 1995, Toyota also hasn’t lost money since it was founded. To fight the tide of bad news, Reuters reports that Toyota has announced further production cuts. Domestic Japanese production between February and April will be cut in half compared to last year, with plans for only 9k units of production. This will include an 11 day furlough at 11 of its 12 Japanese plants.

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  • Billc83 Billc83 on Jan 20, 2009

    @ James2: Actually, I think you're on to something. Maybe not a Camry, though. Too pedestrian, in my opinion. But perhaps Pininfarina could design a sleek drop-top Lexus halo car to replace the long-in-tooth SC430?

  • KDM KDM on Jan 20, 2009

    They already copy Bangle. Just pray they don't start taking design cues from the blind designer for Acura.

  • Kurt. Kurt. on Jan 21, 2009
    Anyone else miss the black-and-gold John Player Special livery? Yes I do but it would never happen. First, JPS is a cigarette brand produced by Imperial and BAT (We know how well BAT did in F1 - fitting their team as Honda just pulled out) and cigarette adverts are banned in Europe. Only the biggest producers hung around for the Middle East market. Lotus could come back though. They would be a welcome addition in these dwindling grids.

  • Andras Libal Andras Libal on Jan 21, 2009

    Not many people know but Toyota's roots are in making textile machinery. I guess a little bit of the original manufacturing genes remain in every car company. Toyota is indeed reliable, gets from point A to point B, and does it in the most boring manner possible, just like ... well, a sewing machine. BMW was forced to make car engines instead of airplane engines after the First World War. Because of that, as Jamal Wallace put it: It's not just a car ... Fuji Heavy Industries made bombers before making the Subaru, and we all heard about the Mitsubishi Zero, a plane that outclassed any allied fighter at the beginning of the Second World War. Anybody surprised by the sportiness of a Saab needs to think about the fighter planes - the company's original product. So, how about them roots, Toyota ? PS I still can't figure the effect of the cork manufacturing genes in Mazda ...