Toyota was in the midst of record-breaking sales back in 2007 when Yoshimi Inaba, then president of North American sales, left the company to take a new role at Central Japan International Airport Co. in Nagoya, Japan. Since then, despite taking the crown as world's largest automaker from General Motors, Toyota has hit a rough patch in the wake of the global economic downturn and has experienced massive sales declines and its first yearly operating loss in over 70 years. It's all very un-Toyota-like, and it's prompting major changes at the very top of the company's ranks.

Incoming-president Akio Toyoda has announced plans to bring Inaba back into the fold, where he will again oversee various projects at Toyota, including some in the crucial North American market. Will the new leadership allow the Japanese giant to quickly right the ship and regain its air of invincibility? As always, time will tell.

[Source: Auto Observer]