Toyota's CEO claims his cars are no longer boring as profits plunge.
Toyota's cars are renowned for being safe and reliable, but most of them won't set your pulse racing. The Japanese manufacturer's CEO Akio Toyoda is on a mission to change that perception and win back enthusiasts with fun and exciting cars that hark back to the days of the classic Celica, Supra, and MR2. Toyota's CEO is clearly getting tired of the automaker being associated with bland and boring cars. "Until now, there were times when Toyota's cars were called 'boring' or were said to be lacking in character," he told USA Today.
He did, however, acknowledge that there's "still room for improvement." While its reputation for quality has helped increase sales in the past, Toyoda's confident statement comes at a time when the company's profits make for grim reading. Higher currency rates meant that the company's net income saw a 20.8 percent drop in net income to 1.831 trillion yen (a still respectable $16.1 billion), while operating income fell by by 30.1 percent to $17.5 billion and revenue fell by 2.8 percent to $242.2 billion. Let's also not forget that Toyota lost its position as the world's biggest automaker to Volkswagen last year after holding the title for four years.
Toyota is also predicting an 18 percent fall in net income and a 2.5 percent drop in revenue for the fiscal year ending in March 2018. Moving forward, Toyoda said the company must prepare for the "paradigm shift" toward self-driving vehicles. "It is my view that our latest financial results demonstrate Toyota's desire to steadily and continuously advance our investment in the future, rather than place top priority on short-term profit." In fairness, Toyota has been making solid efforts to make its line-up more exciting lately. The unapologetically boring Camry has been radically redesigned for 2018, and the 86 sports car is a popular choice among enthusiasts.