JANUARY 18, 1999
Waiting on Toyota...
THE Toyota Motor Corporation's planned drive into Europe is taking shape with the announcement last week that it has chosen the new Yaris model to spearhead the attack. The car will be built at the company's new factory at Valenciennes in France. To back up the European sales drive Toyota Motor Europe has been reshuffled with Akira Imai becoming chief executive. There are rumors that Toyota will very shortly announce its intention to enter Grand Prix racing to support the marketing push.
Back home in Japan, however, there are also interesting moves at Toyota with the company's chief executive Hiroshi Okuda expected to step down as the head of the company in order to take on a new role as head of Japan's employers federation. Okuda has been a very dynamic and decisive leader for the company and there may be a change of style with the new chief executive - whoever that may be, and that may result in the company adopting a rather more cautious approach to FormulaŹ1.
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