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During the reign of company President Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyota became the number one automaker in the world, along with amassing $52 billion in cash and marketable securities. That sounds like one of the most amazing runs in the history of the automotive industry, but it's more than a little disappointing to company scion Shoichiro Toyoda.

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One of the last electric car hold-outs has announced they will finally be jumping on the zero-emission bandwagon. Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe let slip today in Tokyo future plans for just such a vehicle. Skimping on the details he said only that they would be mass produced and go on sale sometime in the early "2010s." Geez dude, throw a dog a bone, would you? Luckily Toyota Executive Vice-President Masatami Takimoto was able to offer more plot clues. "We consider electric vehicles as one

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Duh. Anyone intimate with the product offerings of General Motors over the past three decades could tell you that the bigger an automaker gets, the harder it is to maintain quality levels that your customers expect. Toyota is learning this lesson first hand, and its president, Katsuaki Watanabe, admitted as much recently to reporters in Japan. At the same time, he cautioned, "The fact that Toyota is growing globally suddenly shouldn't be used as an excuse." True dat.

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For the last several years Toyota has held an annual get together following the close of the first day of media previews at the Detroit Auto Show. This year's shin-dig brought with it several surprises. Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe made an unannounced appearance and delivered about a ten minute address to the gathered crowd of automotive hacks. He reviewed Toyota's commitment to sustainable mobility. Toyota plans to continue developing a variety of advanced technologies including hybrids,

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Click on the photo for a gallery of high-res images of the Hybrid-X Concept

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In a long interview, Toyota Motor Corp. President Katsuaki Watanabe outlined how he likes to nip small problems in the bud before they grow to become major ones. For example, Toyota sales are currently strong, but this is placing pressure on production, which lead Toyota to open a truck plant outside San Antonio and set up a line to build Camrys at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant. More production capacity is also being brought online in Canada and Mexico leading Toyota to be able to build

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By next April Fool's Day, Toyota's savings from cutting the complexity of its vehicles' onboard computer systems will kick in and increase the company's profits. Another major source of profit in the years to come will be hybrid vehicles, said Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe earlier this week and reported by Autoweek.

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Last week, Toyota Motor Corp. President Katsuaki Watanabe (pictured) said at a news conference that Japan's largest automaker may be willing to partner with other automakers to assist in technologies with which they may be having difficulties. "There is the adequate possibility that we (Toyota) will form various types of alliances with others," he said, "if an automaker faces difficulties in meeting these needs single-handedly."

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