Japan's association of automakers blasted U.S. moves to explore raising tariffs on Japanese auto exports, just as the two countries plan trade talks that may increase pressure on Tokyo to open up its markets.
Toyota profit surged 43 percent in the latest quarter as cost cutting, lower incentives and falling warranty expenses offset unfavorable foreign exchange rates and helped pilot the automaker to a record full-year net income.
President Akio Toyoda has shuffled his company's board of directors, installing the first female director and appointing a British Paralympic medalist. After the new board is seated, it will arguably be Toyota's most diverse ever.
Over decades, Toyota built a corporate culture that was the envy of the manufacturing world. Now the industry's most-emulated company is overhauling the way it brings its vaunted production system to every corner of the business.
While Toyota has been satisfied to manage the evolution of Hybrid Synergy Drive over two decades, competitors such as General Motors, Tesla, BMW, Volkswagen and Renault-Nissan have been busy driving the next revolution in transportation.
Toyota Europe will establish two business divisions to focus on mobility services and connectivity and has shuffled the leadership of its research, purchasing and production engineering operations. It also named bosses for Germany, Russia and Italy, and a new marketing director.
Toyota will introduce EVs in China starting in 2020 and is considering selling battery-powered models developed by its local partners under the Japanese marque as Beijing prepares to tighten environmental regulations. Toyota stopped sales of the RAV4 EV in 2014.
Akio Toyoda is keeping his eyes on the future, the far, far future, as the Toyota Motor Corp. president pilots his company through a rapidly changing automotive landscape. The biggest risk, he says, is thinking 2050 is too far away and doing nothing.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda feels the pressure of steering his company through a rapidly transforming industry where new entrants and technological advancements are forcing the family scion to rethink an 80-year-old business. As a result, he's betting on alliances and investments in areas from fuel cells to artificial intelligence. One thing the 61-year-old sees enduring through the decades is people's “friendship” with their cars.