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Well said Tony.

Wards says that 29 class action lawsuits have been filed against Toyota so far. Two weeks to offer an apology? I think Chairman Akio Toyoda committed a grave mistake by taking so long to face the music. There's no place to hide any more for global business leaders. You just can't do it and not suffer severe consequences.

What's this all mean to China?
There's an important lesson to be learned and I wonder if China is listening. The State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine SAQSIQ has got to tighten up its standards if China's manufacturers are going to be successful on the world stage. So far China's independents have been treated with kid gloves (see the record of recalls for them) but I am skeptical that they were that defect-free, especially in the area of brake safety.

Building manufacturing facilities abroad early on will make it easier to meet global quality standards. Rang Yong's Hybrid Kinetic project shows that he realizes this.

As Tony said, Toyota has the wherewithal to weather this kind of storm, but a little upstart from a country like China could be wiped off the map forever.
 

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My initial reaction to all the bad publicity was that it would be neutralized by Toyota's long lead ahead of the pack in green technology, i.e. Prius and hybrid models. But now with the Prius brake problem I'm not so sure.

Despite all the negative hype from the media, I think that there is a strong base of loyal Toyota customers, including overseas Chinese, that may pull it through to a recovery faster than ill-fated Audi in the 80s'-90s'.

In China itself, 75,552 sales of the RAV4 since its launch last April tells something about its wide appeal.
 
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