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by Karl Peskett

Toyota’s new president, Akio Toyoda, grandson of the giant carmaker’s founder, is taking drastic steps to stop the company bleeding money.

In an effort to show leadership, Mr Toyoda announced yesterday that he would be cutting his salary by a whopping 30 per cent in the first year. His target is to cut fixed costs by 800 billion yen by March of next year.

“The new Toyota sets sail in very stormy waters,” Mr Toyoda said at a news conference. But right now we’re working at full speed to cut costs and jump-start sales with the support of various government incentives being rolled out.”

The same conference brought to light the fact that Toyota is facing tough times for the next couple of years.

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

Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi said, that although things are difficult, plant closures were not an option.

“Right now, the market is very tough. But in two years, or at most three years, it will recover so we want to make sure we have the means to meet demand them”, said Mr Niimi.

The new Prius, for example, has had more than 180,000 sales in Japan alone since its launch, meaning demand is still strong for certain vehicles, and Toyota is re-organising itself to deal with lower sales, but higher technology cars.




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