Meanwhile, Toyota has weathered the financial/manufacturing storm that followed Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami in March. After shutting down its Japanese plants for much of April and curtailing its production in the U.S. and other overseas markets, Toyota is getting back up to speed faster than expected. In fact, many analysts are now predicting Toyota will not lose a sizeable amount of market share here in the U.S.
There are two reasons Akio Toyoda is optimistic about the future of his company. First, there is a fresh infusion of new and redesigned models on the way. From the refreshed Camry to the expanded line of Prius models, Toyota is approaching a much needed boost in the showroom.
Second, Toyota's customer base has, for the most part, remained patient and loyal. Yes, Toyota lost many buyers due to the recalls, but its long running track record of quality and the strength of its dealer network has many Toyota owners waiting to buy a new model.
Akio Toyoda knows he still has a long a way to go before Toyota can say it's overcome the worst two years ever. A strong yen, rising raw material costs and keeping up with the competition in a fast growing Chinese market are all challenges that will remain for some time. But for Akio Toyoda, there is finally a clearing on the horizon and reason for him to be optimistic when he talks with Toyota dealers in Vegas.
Click on Ticker to Track Corporate News:
- General Motors
- Ford Motor
- Toyota Motor
- Honda Motor
___________________________ Questions? Comments?BehindTheWheel@cnbc.comand Follow me on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews