“We’re back,” proclaimed Didier Leroy, the CEO of Toyota of Europe, as he began the maker’s press preview at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show.
That might have seemed an odd thing to say less than a year ago, when Toyota seemed to have unstoppable momentum. But that was before the Japanese earthquake of March 11 that brought the country’s auto industry to a near stop. In the months that followed, Toyota lost about three-quarters of a million units of production.
Working frantically with its suppliers, the maker says it has not gotten its plants in Japan, the U.S. and Europe back up and running at normal capacity as of this week. Now it has to play a game of catch-up.