Here is an article about Toyota's Fujio Cho. I don't take the view of another blog, which calls Toyota “racist” for having an solely Japanese board. I'm convinced that Toyota is changing and giving more control outside of Japan. We can argue about the pace of change, but Toyota consistently is moving in this direction.
It seems like a necessary step in becoming a truly global company.
“Two years ago, while he was CEO, Cho announced at a conference in Traverse City that Toyota would sustain its growth momentum by shifting more responsibility and decision-making to regional operations. That would help them respond faster to local market demands and conditions.”
At the same time, “for the new plant in Mexico, Kentucky is providing expertise and training,” Cho said. Taking on a role previously carried out only by plants in Japan, “Kentucky has been a mother plant to Mexico.”
Next month, Toyota's board is expected to approve a slate of promotions in the North American operations, bolstering the ranks of highly-qualified executives.
“Toyota appoints Japanese executives to run new plants, he said, but North American managers hold top positions at established factories, such as Georgetown and Cambridge, Ontario.
“The area we need to work on more is research and development and engineering,” Cho said.
The Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor employs about 600 engineers who develop upper bodies for many models destined for the U.S. market, such as the new full-size Tundra pickup. But Toyota still develops the platforms, or underbodies, in Japan.
“I believe R&D functions in America will be localized and expanded rapidly,” he said.
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