Toyota Sees Coronavirus Silver Lining, Says It Became More Productive


President Akio Toyoda, speaking at Toyota Corporation’s (TM) annual earning’s call this week, revealed that the coronavirus is reshaping the company, leading to time-saving.

What Happened

Toyota’s internal work culture is being shaped by the coronavirus pandemic as the car giant enters into a mode of “self-restraint,” reported Nikkei Asian Review.

According to Toyoda, the carmaker has remained limited to its main base in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan during the COVID-19 crisis, which has led to an 80% reduction in travel time, an 85% cut in human contacts and a 30% reduction in time spent on internal meetings.

Due to the reduction in meetings, only half as many documents are now being generated compared to pre-pandemic times.

Cherishing the time saved by the elimination of internal paperwork and hoping the trend continues, Toyoda remarked, “I dearly wish it to be invested for the future.”

Why It Matters

Toyota is Japan’s most valuable company by annual revenue, as of 2019, and has a bureaucratic corporate culture, which the coronavirus pandemic is now reshaping, reported the Review.

Toyoda revealed that the company’s top elite employees “were not so happy” when he took over in 2009 as they did not want to change the way they worked.

The president said thanks to teleconferencing, he now has easier access to his colleagues abroad. He said, “Even top executives would have five or 10 minutes of spare time.”

The Toyota top management underlined the importance of factory manufacturing, “No matter how much IT develops and teleworking proceeds, there are jobs that people are going to do.”

Price Action

Toyota Shares closed 2.01% lower at $117.76 on Wednesday.

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