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Profit forecasts can't hide problems for Toyota's family head

Toyota Motor Corporation, the family-controlled carmaker, today said it hopes to return to profit this year despite the heavy losses it is currently suffering due to the recalls of many of its models.
 
The Tokyo-based business said it hoped to make a net profit of $880 million for the 2010 financial year, an increase on the forecast from November 2009 which predicted another loss for the family-controlled company.
 
This good news comes as a welcome relief for family head and company president Akio Toyoda, who is under severe pressure over defects that have caused unintended acceleration in some of its cars. The problems lead to the recall of eight models over the last two weeks and caused Toyota to drop $35 billion in market value.
 
Throughout the recall process fourth-generation Toyoda (pictured) has remained largely silent, aside from a short interview with a Japanese TV station last week, and for this he has received much criticism. Yesterday US transport secretary Ray LaHood said he planned to call Toyoda "and explain to him that this is serious business."
 
53-year-old Toyoda began as Toyota president in June 2009. He is the first of the founding family to take the head job for 14 years. (Click here to read our coverage of the story) He took over during extremely trading conditions for the automobile industry and is yet to see the company make a profit under his leadership.
 
The Toyoda family collectively owns 2% of the business founded by Sakichi Toyoda in 1937. 

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