Toyota Hearings: Akio Toyoda, 'Priorities became confused' (part 2)

James Raia

Toyota Hearings: Akio Toyoda, 'Priorities became confused' (part 2) 1Akio Toyoda, president and CEO of Toyota,  is speaking before a Congressional hearing on the Toyota recall. The manufacturer released Toyoda’s prepared statement prior to the second day of the hearings regarding the global recall of the manufacturer’s 8.5 million cars.

Here is the second of three parts of Toyoda’s prepared statement:

“At Toyota, we believe the key to making quality products is to develop quality people. Each employee thinks about what he or she should do, continuously making improvements, and by doing so, makes even better cars.”

“We have been actively engaged in developing people who share and can execute on this core value. It has been over 50 years since we began selling in this great country, and over 25 years since we started production here.”

Toyota Hearings: Akio Toyoda, 'Priorities became confused' (part 2) 2

“And in the process, we have been able to share this core value with the 200,000 people at Toyota operations, dealers, and suppliers in this country. That is what I am most proud of.”

“Second, I would like to discuss what caused the recall issues we are facing now. Toyota has, for the past few years, been expanding its business rapidly. Quite frankly, I fear the pace at which we have grown may have been too quick. I would like to point out here that Toyota’s priority has traditionally been the following: First; Safety, Second; Quality, and Third; Volume.”

“These two priorities became confused, and we were not able to stop, think, and make improvements as much as we were able to before, and our basic stance to listen to customers’ voices to make better products has weakened somewhat.”

“We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization, and we should sincerely be mindful of that. I regret that this has resulted in the safety issues described in the recalls we face today, and I am deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced.”

“Especially, I would like to extend my condolences to the members of the Saylor family, for the accident in San Diego. I would like to send my prayers again, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again.”

Article Last Updated: February 24, 2010.

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