Today is Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda’s 65th birthday. So, first of all, happy birthday, Toyoda-san! It’s a notable age, because in the US it was once the traditional age at which one receives a gold watch and rides off into retirement. Toyoda, however, shows no sign of quitting as head of one of the largest companies in the world. Whatever you believe about Toyota’s cars, it’s one of the most successful corporations in history.
Not only that, but due to its size and strength, Toyota basically defines segments, indirectly sets the prices of materials, and has an outsized say in the direction of the industry. Toyoda himself is also head of the Japan Auto Manufacturer’s Association, which oversees the Tokyo Motor Show, negotiates government policies that affect technology and trade, and affects the livelihoods and careers of about 8 percent of Japan’s working population. It’s a position of tremendous power, and as close as you can get to being a king in modern times. So…
What would you do if you were Akio Toyoda?
The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “How do you feel about car investors and flippers?”
We had excellently argued answers on both sides of the flipper coin. On the pro side, those like Crown, Jim Klein, and Scotty G and say that they are adding value and bringing out cars that would otherwise be sitting in a barn or scrapped. Perhaps Chase said it best, asking us to “embrace the transition from cheap commuter cars to now iconic classics.”
On the other side, speedie offered a humorous analogy to a show dog owner. Negishi no Keibajo pointed out that many flippers are not truly part of the community. However, the winner this week was George F, who offered some eye-opening insights.