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Foundry Daily News

27. July 2009

Slowdown signs - Toyota Motor reviewing US manufacturing strategy

Reuters reported that Toyota Motor Co North America is reviewing its US manufacturing strategy to account for idle capacity and shifting corporate priorities, including a desire to correct internal problems magnified by the industry's worst ever downturn.

Mr Yoshimi Inaba president of Toyota North America said that the unprecedented restructuring of General Motors Corporation and Chrysler Group were good for the country and would benefit Ford Motor Co. But he saw no significant role for the Obama administration in helping Toyota return to profitability. He added that "We should manage our own destiny. We are not short of cash."

Mr Inaba said that the playing field for foreign manufacturers should be level and would not rule out Toyota applying at some point for Energy Department advanced technology loans. The USD 25 billion program was established last year mainly to help U.S. automakers make more fuel efficient vehicles but overseas manufacturers can also apply, if they meet certain criteria.

The United States has been Toyota's biggest and most profitable market until recently. While market conditions and product viability are crucial, Mr Inaba said that Toyota would not let questions about California and Mississippi linger. Swifter decision making is a priority under a new management mind set giving regions greater autonomy for taking action.

He said Toyota now plans to listen to consumers and dealers more carefully on products as part of the back to basics strategy. Investors agree that Toyota had stretched itself too far and too fast in recent years.

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