Toyota executive said Detroit collapse is a warning to carmakers

Article by Anita Panait, on July 26, 2013

Mark Hogan, one of the newest board members at Toyota Motor Corp., remarked the bankruptcy of the city of Detroit serves to the Japanese company as well as other carmakers that would ignore changing market trends and response slowly to economic downturns. Hogan expects Detroit’s Chapter 9 filing would deliver positive results within 18 months.

Speaking in his public debut since becoming the first foreign-born board member at Toyota last month, Hogan remarked the financial collapse of the city of Detroit was due to the failure of weak-willed politicians to cut back as the city's population shrunk and the local tax base cave in.

He remarked that the lesson for carmakers is “to not wait on decision-making that has to do with downturns in any market that they participate in," adding that the company “can and must anticipate” structural changes and make those hard decisions before it's too late.

He said that Detroit's bankruptcy filing as "entirely appropriate and timely," saying that he believes that it would correct the situation within the next 18 months for the “betterment” of Detroit and the auto industry, particularly the Detroit 3.

Toyota named three external directors in March 2013, one of whom is Hogan. The others are Japanese. According to Hogan, President Akio Toyoda head hunted him to inject “a clear, unfiltered perspective” into an all-Japanese board." Hogan a GM vice president and became president of parts supplier Magna International Inc. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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