Jump to content
Create New...

Toyota's president to visit China on Monday


Recommended Posts

Toyota's president to visit China on Monday

Yuri Kageyama / Associated Press

Tokyo -- Fresh from a grilling by U.S. lawmakers, Toyota President Akio Toyoda will speak Monday in China about his company's quality problems, seeking to boost confidence and ease consumer worries in the world's biggest auto market.

Toyoda, who testified at a U.S. Congressional hearing last week about the spate of global recalls plaguing Toyota Motor Corp., will speak to reporters at a Beijing hotel, company spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said.

The number of vehicles being recalled in China is small compared with the 8.5 million vehicles recalled worldwide since October for sticky gas pedals, faulty floor mats and glitches in braking software.

But Toyota has ambitious plans for growth in China, where it and its global rivals are finding growth that was stagnating even before the recall crisis in traditional American and European markets.

The flood of recalls in the United States has shaken confidence in Toyota's reputation for top-grade quality. In China, the company announced a recall of 75,552 RAV4 sport-utility vehicles in late January due to the gas pedal problem.

Toyota has said its plans to expand in the Chinese market are unchanged, with its sales in the country expected to rise to 800,000 vehicles this year, up from 709,000 in 2009.

China's overall vehicle sales soared 45 percent last year to 13.6 million, overtaking the United States as the world's biggest auto market.

After answering questions by lawmakers last week, Toyoda visited with dealers and went to Toyota's largest North American assembly plant in Kentucky. He is not scheduled to appear at a Toyota hearing Tuesday by a U.S. Senate committee.

Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, has made no public appearances in Japan since speaking in Washington, although media reports say he has returned. Toyota's policy is to never comment on the whereabouts of its top executives, saying such details are confidential.

Toyoda's haste in moving on to China, despite the limited number of recalls there, appears to reflect the company's eagerness to restore the reputation for high quality that is its key advantage there.

So far, China's state-controlled media have made only muted comment on the recalls issue. The problem is mainly viewed as a precautionary example of potential pitfalls for China's nascent domestic car industry.

"It is a wake-up call (for the Chinese). This is not easy, this is a major challenge to get the product right and keep customers satisfied," said John Bonnell, a J.D. Power analyst in Bangkok.

Toyota got a relatively late start in China, after fitful efforts to break into the market early on in tie-ups between its subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Co. and a state-run automaker, Tianjin Automobile Industry Holding Co.

Only in May 2006 did Toyota roll out its first made-in-China Camry, in a partnership with Guangzhou Automobile Group, based in the affluent southern Chinese market near Hong Kong. Toyota also has a partnership with FAW Group, another state-owned automaker based in northern China.

"There is no question but that the Chinese market will overtake the Japanese market," Yoshimi Inaba, now Toyota's top North American executive, declared as the Guangzhou factory opened.

Since then, thanks partly to hard times brought on by the global financial crisis, China has overtaken both Japan and the U.S. to become the No. 1 market.

While the Camry proved a big success in China as elsewhere, both global rivals and Chinese upstarts have also been gaining ground -- maneuvering to capture the small car market that Toyota has eschewed in favor of bigger, more expensive sedans.

For all the automakers, China and other fast-growing emerging markets are providing growth and profits to offset losses in their traditional market.

"If it wasn't for China last year, a lot of the makers, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, would be staying in the red. China is probably their most profitable operation," said Christopher Richter, an auto analyst with CLSA Asia Pacific Markets in Tokyo.

In any market, though, Toyota is facing an uphill struggle to mollify both consumers and regulators.

In Japan, Toyota has recalled 223,000 vehicles for hybrid models, including the Prius, for braking problems. But the company has a major stake in its home market and as the world's biggest automaker, is viewed as a role model not just for automakers but for Japan as a whole.

Japanese Transport Minister Seiji Maehara, appearing at a nationwide broadcast news show Sunday, complained that Toyota's "corporate culture" reflected a reluctance to be forthright on recalls.

"The company is not taking the problem as seriously as it should," he said, saying the company's quality chief, Shinichi Sasaki, came to explain the problems to the ministry only after being asked to do so.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100228/AUTO01/2280315/1148/auto01/Toyota-s-president-to-visit-China-on-Monday#ixzz0gsPwdoJs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 80 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online
  • Chevy Estimated Range for Silverado EV Work Truck Raised to 450 miles

    When Chevrolet initially took the wraps off the Silverado EV last year, GM had estimated up to a 400 mile range based on its own calculations.  As the Silverado EV has made its way through development, it went for EPA certification and came back with 50 miles more than GM's estimate.  With this new EPA certification, the Silverado EV has an over 100-mile advantage over its only on-sale competitor the F-150 Lightning Extended Range (320 miles). The Silverado EV will launch first in WT trim with t


    All New 2024 Toyota Tacoma Yearns For Adventure

    The Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling mid-size pickup in the U.S. for nearly 20 years. Holding such an important place in the lineup, Toyota has been very conservative with updates in the past.  The outgoing generation ran for a full 7 years, but even that was based on a platform that dates all the way back to 2004.  For 2024, the Tacoma sheds the old platform entirely and joins the Tundra and Sequoia on Toyota's new TNGA-F global truck platform.  The 2024 Tacoma is the latest (and final)


    The Ford Ranger Raptor Finally Comes to the US

    After years of being forbidden fruit offered only in overseas markets, Ford has finally deemed the Ranger Raptor worthy enough to bring to the U.S. The biggest reason for the U.S. not getting the prior version was its standard diesel power and the inability of the platform to take a sizable V6 engine. When Ford redesigned the 2024 Ranger (read more about the 2024 Ford Ranger here), they made sure to alter the engine bay and chassis to accommodate a V6. Powering the Ranger Raptor is a 3.0-li


  • Create New...

Hey there, we notice you're using an ad-blocker. We're a small site that is supported by ads or subscriptions. We rely on these to pay for server costs and vehicle reviews.  Please consider whitelisting us in your ad-blocker, or if you really like what you see, you can pick up one of our subscriptions for just $1.75 a month or $15 a year. It may not seem like a lot, but it goes a long way to help support real, honest content, that isn't generated by an AI bot.

See you out there.


Write what you are looking for and press enter or click the search icon to begin your search