Q: Tell us your feelings about being in the CEO position and your vision for the role.
A: Firstly, I want to continue the legacy that Jim Lentz started, with bringing our teams all together as Toyota. That’s the biggest thing. There are no silos, no barriers — just together, Toyota. That is the story of this campus. The background on that goes back to Feb. 24, 2010. (The day Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda apologized at a U.S. congressional hearing for cases of unintended acceleration.) That is a day we should never forget.
One of the issues on that day, or in the [Toyota sudden-acceleration] crisis, is internal: The communication was divided by silo, and each function had to communicate with its Japan-side counterpart in the same silo between the same function. There was no internal communication within the U.S., which was one reason for our lack of communication and then slow decision-making. That created a huge crisis.
The No. 2 issue was external. We were doing all the things our…