Toyota, On the Brink of Capitulation

Japanese manufacturer Toyota is not only struggling to cope with the darkest days in its existence, but is very close to “capitulation to irrelevance or death,” as the company's CEO, Akio Toyoda, was quoted as saying by Autonews.

We are grasping for salvation. Toyota has become too big and distant from its customers. When you get to this level, it makes it difficult to return to profit on sales growth alone," he told the source.

Toyota is bracing for the second disastrous year in terms of sales. After in 2008, the world's no.1 carmaker sold 8.97 million vehicles, in 2009 the perspectives are even grimmer. Toyota estimates it will sell a total of 7.3 million this year; both figures are way below the 10 million units target Toyota once had.

Toyoda thus managed to truthfully place his company on the scale established by Jim Collins in his "How the Mighty Fall" book. According to Collins, a company passes through five stages before collapsing: hubris born of success, undisciplined pursuit of more, denial of risk and peril, grasping for salvation and capitulation to irrelevance or death. The CEO's opinion is that now the manufacturer is at stage four on that scale.

Toyota is facing problems on other fronts as well. The recent scandal between the manufacturer in the US and Dimitrios Biller, as well as the huge 3.8 million recall due to a loose floor mat that could force down the accelerator, do nothing than to add to the problems baggage Toyota is now carrying.

We would like to pay our deepest condolences for the loss of four precious lives,” Toyoda said. “Customers who chose Toyota and Lexus cars because those brands are safe and secure are now beset with anxiety. I regret and apologize for this development.”
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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