Despite raking in $10 billion in earnings last year and looking like it will surpass that mark this year, Toyota is not happy. Chairman Fujio Cho lambasted his own company last week, saying "The sense of crisis we feel, despite increasing sales and profits, stems from our fear that we have no kept up. Particularly fears that we have not kept up with environmental issues…" Ok, Fujio, I know it's noble to be hard on yourself, as that's how Toyota got to this point in the first place, but what about the unbridled success of the Prius and the manifold hybrid concepts like the Volta and Lexus' pending RX hybrid SUV? It's still not even close to enough, apparently, as Chairman Cho revealed plans to get 300,000 hybrids on tarmac by the end of next year. But, wait, this isn't really about environmentally-responsible transport, is it? No, I didn't think so: Toyota has long been forced to compete only with itself as far as quality and reliability were concerned; this year, however, the untarnishable reputation pitted slightly around the edges as Hyundai passed Toyota in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study.
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