At Tsutsumi Plant, Aichi Prefecture
"A strong, flexible corporate structure for increased corporate value"
In fiscal 2008, ended March 31, 2008, Toyota set new records in consolidated net revenues and all income categories. This success enabled us to increase shareholder dividends paid for the ninth consecutive year. I believe this ability to increase revenues and earnings in a severe business environment is the result of the various measures we have implemented.
Although the economic downturn in some developed nations has caused a certain amount of stagnation in today's global automotive industry, markets in resource-rich and emerging countries are rapidly expanding. However, the environment surrounding the automotive industry is undergoing drastic changes marked by sharp increases in raw material costs, sudden currency exchange fluctuations, and increased environmental regulations worldwide.
I firmly believe that this period of intense change presents us with an ideal opportunity to transform Toyota's corporate structure. We are therefore reexamining our business processes and identifying and solving problems one-by-one. This enables us to remain focused on building vehicles that will be accepted by customers worldwide. These challenging times are particularly well suited to the development of strong human resources. We will redouble our efforts to develop our employees in the "kaizen mindset" needed to courageously change those things that need to be changed.
There is a phrase that says, "The strongest grass is revealed after swift wind." I believe that the experience of overcoming tough challenges is essential to developing a corporate structure that is strong and flexible enough to adapt to change. As we move forward with efforts to further increase Toyota's corporate value, I ask all of our shareholders and investors for their continued support.
Katsuaki Watanabe, President