Leaders reveal thoughts on Akio's recent messages

2020.04.19

Yoshihiro Nakata, CEO of Asia Region / Warih Andang Tjahjono, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia / Alfred V. Ty, Chairman of Toyota Motor Philippine, Vice Chairman of GT Capital

Kagawa

Yes. Next, we are talking with Mr. Nakata, CEO of the Asia Region. Mr. Nakata, thank you for being here.

Nakata

I’m Yoshihiro Nakata, overlooking the Asia Region. It is a pleasure to meet you.

Kagawa

Also joining us is Warih Andang Tjahjono, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia. Mr. Warih, thank you for being here with us.

Warih

I’m Warih Andang Tjahjono from Indonesia. Nice to see you.

Kagawa

You can speak Japanese too, Warih-san?

Warih

Just a little.

Kagawa

We also have Alfred-san from the Philippines. Mr. Alfred, nice to meet you.

Alfred

I’m Alfred from the Philippines. Thank you.

Kagawa

So you three gentlemen are in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, right?
To get started, what kinds of activities does Toyota usually engage in locally?

Nakata

In markets like Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, we are supported by our customers with market share of more than 30 percent. We are engaged in manufacturing in various countries and in key markets, as well as sales operations throughout Asia. That’s the overall picture.

Kagawa

What are the cities looking like in Indonesia now, and how are the people doing?

Warih

Starting this Friday (April 10), Jakarta was put in a temporary lockdown situation. We are seeing clear changes in the main streets. The main street is empty.

Kagawa

I’m sure your production numbers have been impacted.

Warih

Our production has been reduced, about 40 to 50 percent less, including domestic and exports. In the beginning of March, we already adjusted production to operate for only one shift, but, next week, we will have non-production days because of the reduction of demand.

Kagawa

I’d like to ask Alfred-san the same question about the Philippines.

Alfred

The Philippines was the first country in Asia and probably the first developing country to declare this quarantine situation. It was a very sudden announcement to everyone. Some anxiety felt by the people in terms of business and in terms of people’s livelihood. That was the experience and it’s a very challenging time in our country.

Kagawa

How are things in Singapore?

Nakata

We’ve been under a strict lockdown since Tuesday of last week. We’re not allowed to see people who are not family members that we live with. I’m here without my family, so now I’m always by myself.

Kagawa

So you left your family behind in Japan?

Nakata

That’s right. They’re in Japan now.

Kagawa

I would like to see business get restored and back to normal as soon as possible. For Toyota in Asia, are you taking on any challenges by working together there?

Nakata

Both in the past and today Toyota keeps the philosophy of staying close to the country, or its society and people, and continuing to make contributions, so we’re doing what we can.

Warih

We are now supporting the Indonesian Red Cross Society, especially in managing the logistics. We also on the market side, are now proposing to support healthcare by sharing an application for mobility.

Alfred

For the Philippines, because of the strong quarantine lockdown, no public transportation was available. So TMP started to dispatch many vehicles to different hospitals and small city governments so that they can bring the workers to hospitals or to their government office to help in the distribution of these vital materials.

Nakata

We have partnered in joint ventures with companies that are deeply rooted in the local communities, and together with those partners we are now trying to do what we can to help. We’re producing face shields, and in the field of logistics, we’re using our TPS know-how to support productivity improvements. We’re offering free disinfecting services at our dealers regardless of the (car) brand, and we’re offering plastic seat covers. We’re leveraging our strengths to do what we can.

Kagawa

Have these initiatives already been implemented? You’re already doing this now?

Nakata

Yes, we are.

Kagawa

That’s impressive. I heard that President Toyoda really likes your facial hair.

Nakata

He usually gets mad and tells me it looks unkempt. Today, thankfully, both Warih-san and Alfred-san also have facial hair.

Kagawa

Warih-san has a distinguished white beard. Does the President tell you that having stubble is bad? (laughs)

Warih

I would like to have more hair on my head. But because I cannot I just put it on my (chin).

Kagawa

Nice try. (laughs)
Could I ask the three of you to send a brief message to the employees in your country?

Alfred

We received the message from Akio-san, and our own team members appreciated the warm greetings of Akio-san so much, including his very sincere smile. When I heard this message, I was really encouraged to spread the same sense of hope that there is nothing that we cannot overcome if we fight together.

We are united together as one team, one family, and we will fight and win this battle together.

Kagawa

Thank you. Nakata-san, please go ahead.

Nakata

As President Toyoda also said, don’t become seriously concerned, but confront this with serious thought. As the All Toyota family, let’s believe in ourselves and have a positive attitude and work hard together.

Kagawa

Thank you.

Warih

We better work together to assure our safe and healthy environment for society, and of course our employees and our staff. At the same time, we also would like to make efforts to continue, even step by step, to develop our business. Of course, prepare the next step when the situation is getting better.

Kagawa

Once COVID-19 has ended, I’m going to go meet everyone I’ve interviewed today.

Warih

We look forward to it. Indonesia too.

Kagawa

Indonesia too, of course.

Kagawa/Nakata

One, two, three…

Everyone

Kenko Daiichi!

Kagawa

Thank you very much!

Unwavering strength regardless of the situation

Kagawa

I spoke with people in various regions and asked them many questions. Things took a sudden turn with the turmoil caused by the spread of COVID-19. Through it all, however, Toyota has maintained its unwavering commitment to be a mobility company and in “Fun to Drive.” And, as for the stance of President Toyoda of reassuring the company of its mission during this time, I have confirmed that it is widely shared around the world without missing anything.

I feel the commitment is unwavering. As Editor-in-Chief of Toyota Times, I was made to understand Toyota’s unwavering strength regardless of the situation.

And, everyone was cheerful and staying positive no matter what. They knew that spring would definitely come after enduring this crisis. With this in mind, they remained positive and hopeful by committing to surviving this hardship.

How will Toyota fight this crisis and make another successful recovery? I will continue to watch how their top management, including President Toyoda and the other CEOs I interviewed today, take action and return to each region.

But anyhow, at any rate, we have to be healthy to do such things. Those I have interviewed from yesterday including president Toyoda are all in good shape. Let’s stay healthy, really. Stay healthy!

And with that, here I was to offer you Toyota Times. Toyota Times by myself again! See you everyone! Toyota Times!

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