Toyota Names New President To Lead Through Turbulent Times

January 20, 2009

For the first time in 14 years, a Toyoda family member will lead the company as its President. And Akio Toyoda has an undoubtedly big challenge on his plate, that of leading the company back to profitability and stability in a horrific market that has seen even its considerable lineup of frugal cars take a sales nosedive. What Toyoda will do with American-market behemoths like the Sequoia and Tundra, which languish in the suddenly unpopular SUV and large truck segment, remains to be seen.

Toyota is expected to report a 150 billion yen ($1.69 billion) operating for for its fiscal year, which concludes on March 31. This is its worst operating loss in 70 years, a time span eclipsing its entire history of auto sales in the United States. How the mighty have fallen.

This must be more than a little frustrating for the Japanese giant who was but a few thousand units short of eclipsing GM in worldwide sales for 2007. But despite its sales dominance, GM is in far worse shape than Toyota, making sales dominance quite the pyrrhic victory.

[source: Detroit News]

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