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Akio Toyoda heads to Washington

Posted by: David Welch on February 19, 2010

I take it back. Or, more accurately, Toyota took it back. Company President Akio Toyoda is going to testify in Washington after all. Toyoda, the 53-year-old grandson of the company’s founder, first said he wouldn’t go before Congress. After I wrote yesterday’s post, he reversed the decision and will testify on Feb. 24.

This has been handled poorly on two levels. First, it’s just another example of the company’s inconsistency. He’s not coming, then he decides to show. Toyota looks like it is reacting to criticism from Congress as opposed to responding decisively to a crisis. Similarly, Toyota’s American executives have maintained that they issued the accelerator pedal recall voluntarily while one Japanese executive said they were prodded by the U.S. government. The company needs to get a handle on this crisis, make decisions faster and stick to them.

The second problem is that Akio Toyoda is probably not the best man for the job. For reasons I have stated in this blog item, Yoshimi Inaba is the best executive to go before Congress. Exposing the boss, who is also a Toyoda family scion, risks turning the hearing into a bigger circus than it already likely will be.

Reader Comments


February 19, 2010 11:53 AM

Well what a development this is? It will be interesting to see if he gets raked over the coals as bad as the U.S. automakers when they came to washington to ask for a bailout. I think they will treat him like royalty. The congress has the same attitude as most stupid americans. American products are bad and american workers are bad. This country is doomed game over, we have nothing to offer the world but more debt, we have lost our manufacturing base and now the banksters are running what is left into the ground.

Jenny Choi

February 19, 2010 1:30 PM

Good Luck Mr. Toyoda


February 27, 2010 8:51 AM

Dear Mr. Akio Toyoda, Have you read the poem that was posted about you on January 1st 2009? I believe it's entitled- "SLUDGE POEM 3". Simply 'Google' this- RIP OFF REPORT WORLD TOYOTA PEACHTREE, and it appears in the 'Updates' section to that Toyota Ripoff Report, okay? Thank You

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Want the straight scoop on the auto industry? Our man in Detroit David Welch, brings keen observations and provocative perspective on the auto business.

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