Toyota’s new leader warns of another two tough years

Akio Toyoda

We’re pretty sure Akio Toyoda, grandson of Toyota’s founder, didn’t expect taking over the company at a time where demand in the auto industry is at an all time low. Nonetheless, the 53-year old Toyoda family member is here and ready to push the world’s no.1 car company back to profit, which he warns could take another two tough years.

Toyoda said that he will do more to build a more autonomous North American operation and shift focus to marketing a more region-specific vehicle lineup. Toyota, which now faces a second year of record loss, will aim to cut costs so it can be profitable using just 70 percent of its factory capacity.

“We want to do everything possible to avoid a third consecutive year of losses,” Toyoda told reporters.

Toyoda said that he is focused on taking the company ‘back to basics,’ without closing plants or slashing full-time jobs.

Toyota promised its shareholders to do better to recover from a 461 billion yen ($4.8 billion) operating loss. For now, for the year to March 2010, Toyota forecasts an even bigger loss of 850 billion yen.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Reuters