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No More Crying, No More Sighing By Toyota’s CEO

Toyoda apologizes to shareholders for mistakes – and tears.

by on Jun.25, 2010

CEO Toyoda at confrontational hearings on Capitol Hill, last February. He's been criticized for crying during subsequent meetings with company employees.

There may be some sighing, but there’ll definitely be no more crying by Toyota’s embattled president and CEO Akio Toyoda.

Facing significant pressure in the wake of a worldwide safety crisis that has led to the recall of millions of vehicles – including more than 8 million in the U.S. alone – Toyoda offered his apologies to investors during the annual Toyota Motor Co. shareholders meeting.

Admitting he “might not come back” after a confrontational hearing with U.S. lawmakers, last February, the heir to the automaker’s founding family admitted it was a time of intense stress, during which he “wasn’t able to rest, not even for a minute.”

Toyota shareholders appeared willing to accept the executive’s apologies for the problems that have driven down the automaker’s stock price by more than 20% in recent months.

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But one matter seemed to raise the hackles of investors in a nation where the showing of “face” is all-important.  During a question-and-answer session, Toyoda was faulted for crying while meeting with Toyota employees after the hearings on Capitol Hill.

“I will try not to cry like that again,” Toyoda responded.

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Toyota’s Toyoda: Industry Needs Reinvent Itself

Giant automaker also fast-tracking new, affordable sports car.

by on Aug.05, 2009

The auto industry "needs to reinvent itself," says Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda, though his company's push into green power won't prevent it from launching a new, "affordable" sports car.

The auto industry "needs to reinvent itself," says Toyota Motor Co. President Akio Toyoda, though his company's push into green power won't prevent it from launching a new, "affordable" sports car.

The auto industry is “set to make its biggest transformation in 100 years.” declared the head of Toyota Motor Co., during a meeting with industry leaders, Wednesday.

With global demand for oil rapidly approaching the point where it exceeds production capacity, Akio Toyoda, heir to the giant automaker’s founding family, warned that the industry is “back where we began, 100 years ago,” when the fledgling car business was looking for the most effective form of power.

“It calls for true breakthroughs,” said Toyoda, who recently assumed his post as president of Toyota. “We must reinvent the automobile.”

Reinvent your news sources!

Reinvent your news sources!

Speaking to several 100 industry leaders attending the annual Management Briefing Seminars, in Traverse City, Michigan, Toyoda said this reinvention will require a higher degree of cooperation among erstwhile competitors.

Toyota has tried to position itself at the forefront in the switch to greener power, a transformation similar to what pioneers like Henry Ford first faced, when it was unclear whether gasoline, steam or battery power would take the lead. But while petroleum ultimately won out, Toyoda asserted that, in the future, “There (will be) no one solution…but the need for many, because energy solutions that work for Traverse City may not be the best for Shanghai or Sydney or Sao Paolo.

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