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Toyota head says expansion may have been at expense of customer care

Akio Toyoda, the chief executive of Toyota, told dealers and staff yesterday the recent quality crisis was a chance for a fresh start.

Toyoda was on a morale-boosting visit to the carmaker's European operation, during which he said he has no plans to change Toyota's 2010 global sales forecast in spite of the blow to its reputation from its worldwide vehicle recalls.

The carmaker also named Didier Leroy as its chief quality officer for Europe.

In a speech to 1,000 European staff and dealers, Toyoda said he had learnt much from the quality problems.

He added: "We may have expanded too rapidly in recent years and unintentionally lost sight of our long-established commitment to the spirit of 'customer first'.

"And sadly, I must acknowledge the result was the quality problems that have occurred."


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