Toyota CEO: Company is grasping for salvation, has become too distant from customers

Akio Toyoda

Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda said that the No.1 Japanese automaker is “grasping for salvation” as it struggles to return profit. Toyota was targeting annual sales of 10 million vehicles and now expects sales of 7.3 million this year, down from 8.97 million in 2008.

Toyoda said that Toyota is on the brink of “capitulation to irrelevance or death” as he prepares for another-straight year of financial and sale decreases, reports Automotive News.

“We are grasping for salvation,” Toyoda said.  “Toyota has become too big and distant from its customers.”

He compared Toyota’s history to the five stages of corporate decline outlined by Jim Collins, author of How the Mighty Fall. He warned that Toyota is now in stage four and has already gone through hubris born of success, undisciplined pursuit of more and denial of risk and peril (wow, someone is emo),

Toyoda took over Toyota in June, just as the world’s biggest automaker faced one of the largest crises in history due to a global credit crunch.

– By: Omar Rana