Toyota reported its first operating loss earlier this year, so we knew things were a little tense in Toyota City. But even company insiders were stunned by Shoichiro Toyoda's foul mood when the 84-year-old honorary chairman met with 400 executives in Nagoya in February.
According to an article in Bloomberg Markets magazine, the usually quiet and reserved Shoichiro Toyoda lashed out at President Katsuaki Watanabe during the meeting. "How many times have you made a mistake?" Shoichiro Toyoda demanded sharply of Watanabe, who sat stone-faced.
According to the magazine, Shoichiro Toyoda, whose father, Kiichiro Toyoda, founded Toyota Motor Corp., rattled off a list of errors and chewed out Watanabe for adding big, expensive vehicles to Toyota's lineup.
Watanabe already knew he would not remain as president. That move had been announced in January. Last week he was replaced by Shoichiro Toyoda's 53-year son, Akio Toyoda.