Toyota president Akio Toyoda names top cars from rivals

Article by Anita Panait, on May 18, 2012

Could you expect a top executive of one of the largest car companies in the world commend vehicles made by rival automakers? Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp. and a known car buff, just did. According to Toyoda himself, he did publicly announce his shortlist of memorable cars during a meeting with top executives from other carmakers.

Topping the list are the Nissan Skyline, Honda NSX, Mazda Cosmo Sport, Mitsubishi Pajero and Isuzu Bellett. He related the commendation during his inauguration as chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. Toyoda succeeds Nissan chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga at the post.

Toyoda is usually hard pressed to name his favorite cars, and unusually today, he did cite cars from each of the four carmakers which chief executives also serve as vice-chairmen of the board of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The list also implies Toyoda’s car likings. The Nissan Skyline, sold as the Infiniti G in the United States, has been on the Japanese market since 1950s. The NSX, meanwhile a high-performance sports car that Honda had discontinued but will resume production in US in the near future.

The Cosmo Sport roadster carries the reputation of sporting Mazda’s first rotary engine in the 1960s. The Pajero, meanwhile, has become a testament to Mitsubishi’s off-road reputation. The Bellett subcompact car, on the other hand, had its popular days in the 1960s and 1970s and is reputed to be the first Japanese car to get a GT label. [source: Autonews]

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