When Toyota Motor Corp. CEO Fujio Cho speaks at the Management Briefing Seminars on Wednesday, he'll be doing so as a global trendsetter and industry leader.
Globally, Toyota is vying to be the second largest automaker. It's already the most profitable. Under Cho's leadership Toyota rang up $11 billion in profits and took nearly 12 percent of the U.S. market last year.
Cho pushed Toyota into worldwide leadership on gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles with the popular Prius and the Japanese automaker will go toe-to-toe with the Big 3 by building pickup trucks in Texas.
Cho understands the United States because he worked here. A decade ago he was president of Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A.
Last month the 67-year-old Cho was named an Automotive News All-Star as the top CEO in Asia. He also was selected the Automotive News Industry Leader of the Year by the reporters and editors of Automotive News.
Fujio Cho isn't the first CEO from overseas to come to Traverse City. But he may be the most influential.