Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s CEO, Determined to Save Manufacturing in Japan

Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first “Shogun,” who in 1603 founded the dynasty and established military government (“bakufu”) that ruled Japan from “Edo” (today’s Tokyo) until 1863, was born in Okazaki Castle, near today’s Toyota City, in Aichi prefecture in 1543.

Akio Toyoda, current CEO of Toyota Motor Corporate (TMC) (ADR: NYSE:TM), great grandson of the of company’s founder, was born in 1956 in Nagoya, near Toyota City, the capital of Aichi prefecture.

The 260 year Tokugawa Period  (in Japan called the “Edo Period”) was one of internal and external peace, social stability, and flourishing Japanese art and culture, agriculture, and industry–the defining era in the development of Japanese civilization.  It was also a period during which the Tokugawas enforced a strict “isolation” policy, refusing all but severely limited contacts with foreign countries.

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Toyota President set to unveil new vision

Toyota Motor Corp., which traditionally gets a majority of its profit in the United States, will outline a strategy for growth in emerging markets in a 10-year plan the automaker is set to release this week, two sources said.

Toyota also aims to cut two vice chairman positions and shrink its board to 17 or fewer members from 27 as part of the biggest management shakeup in eight years, said the sources, who declined to be identified as the information is private.

President Akio Toyoda will present Toyota’s "Global Vision 2020" plan on Wednesday to help boost sales after record recalls contributed to the world’s largest carmaker becoming the only major to post falling deliveries in the U.S. last year.

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Cry me a Toyota Campaign launched as man tears of Toyoda woo Japan — well almost.

“Otoko naki”—crying while maintaining masculinity is Toyoda’s latest achievement in his efforts to win back the confidence of the people.

The Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda’s tearful public appearances during and after his Congressional testimony in the U.S. won sympathetic votes in Japan on Friday as images and sound bites of the media-shy executive monopolized headlines.

Following Toyoda’s Congressional hearing at which he apologized and assumed full responsibility for the series of events and lapses in judgment that led to the recall of 8.5 million vehicles globally, a tearful Toyoda addressed local Toyota employees.

Yukio Hatoyama, Japan’s prime minister, said Thursday: “It was good for the Toyota president to appear in person at the hearing and testify” on the company’s massive recalls, but he added, “I don’t think this has put an end [to the issue].”

Can Toyoda make Toyota look good in front of Congress?

Toyota president Akio Toyoda, under fire for his handling of massive safety recalls, was expected to leave Japan Saturday for the United States where he faces a grilling in front of a hostile Congress. The head of the embattled Japanese automaker has bowed to calls to appear in front of US lawmakers after an initial reluctance, a flip flop that has drawn further criticism and added to impressions of a public relations disaster.

Japan is now looking to Toyota president Akio Toyoda’s appearance before U.S. lawmakers next week to help burnish an image marred by a flood of recalls — and to prevent grievances over the issue from fanning broader political tensions.

“I hope Toyota will soon regain the trust of their customers around the world,” Japan’s Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada told reporters Friday.

“Although this is a matter of one individual company, we wish to back them up as much as we can as it could become a national issue,” Okada said.

Read more about this story:
Japan hopes Toyoda can burnish Toyota’s image
Toyota chief expected to leave Japan for US

Photo by KOMUnews

Head of Toyota Steps up in Apology

“I deeply regret that I caused concern among so many people,” Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, said at a news conference on Friday. “We will do our utmost to regain the trust of our customers.”

He also pledged that the Japanese automaker would soon announce steps to address brake problems on the 2010 Prius.

Akio Toyoda, grandson of Toyota’s founder, spoke in his first formal remarks since the uproar enveloping his company, the world’s largest automaker, and took personal responsibility for the problems.

The company’s stock has dropped about 20 percent in the last two weeks.