“What I’m trying to understand is why was Toyota able to move so deftly, so quickly, and overcome the established auto industry that existed in this country,” asked Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) of New Jersey. “They went from a 10 percent market share in 1999 to 13 percent of the market share in 2008. General Motors fell from 17 percent to 12 percent…. Ford fell from 13 percent to 8 percent in the same time.”
“Building a trust among the customers is the key to our past success and we would like to do the same into the future,” said Yoshimi Inaba, president and CEO of Toyota Motors North America. Toyota employs some 200,000 “team members” at plants, dealerships, and suppliers in the US, where it has had a presence for 50 years.
Last week, Toyota President Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder, appeared before a House panel and took “full responsibility” for the failures that prompted the recalls of millions of Toyotas in the United States.
Toyota executive vice president Shinichi Sasaki, one of two top board members to appear before the Senate panel, said that Toyota is “fundamentally overhauling Toyota’s quality assurance process, under the personal direction of our president, Akio Toyoda.” He also said that Americans would have a greater role in quality assurance decisions, including recalls. (For Monitor coverage on the impact of the recalls on Toyota's sales, click here.)