I'm no "socialist", but I can cut through the rhetoric, get past the political nonsense, open my eyes and see the rest of the world beyond my borders. Toyota and VW will be #1 and #2 this year. This didn't happen overnight. It's taken years of "baby steps" and forward thinking/planning, to get to where they are, profitably.
The proverbial "buck" stops with the CEO, not the team under him. He chooses the people that report to him. He instills the "culture" and sets the goals and must make sure the company is achieving short term goals while driving on the road to achieving long term goals. Perhaps his downfall was a result of being too much a team player with both management and the board? The second problem might have been the overwhelming pressure to make business decisions on short term results. I don't see the Germans and Japanese thinking short term. It's not in their culture and ultimately, they will survive. And they are headquartered in countries that are heavily regulated. Anyone ever hear the term "forced innovation"? That's when government challenges industry to find solutions to societal concerns, be it fuel mileage, safety, etc. Seems lack of regulation has set the bar too low and allowed some manufacturers the easy way out, but destined to implode as the rest of the world moved ahead.