TOYOTA CAN LOSE AT SOMETHING


Tsutomu Tomita is clearly quite sick of losing. Tomita works for Toyota. And there are not many employees of the new number 1 auto-seller in the world who have a problem with losing. Toyota, as an auto-seller, does not lose.

Toyota, as a Formula 1 race team, loses every race. First race : 2002 Australian Grand Prix. Recent race: 2007 Bahrain Grand Prix. 91 total races, 2 pole positions, 155 team points, but never once a race win. To state the obvious, Toyota, without even a race win, has never won the Constructor’s Championship nor have their drivers ever won a Driver’s Championship.

Put it this way: send 91 people into a Toyota dealership in, say… Ottawa. How many come out with a car? Paaaaahlenty. Send 91 races in Toyota’s direction, how many conquests? Zero.

Something doesn’t add up. This massive Japanese manufacturer with three sub-brands, an overriding belief in its dependability, its loyal workforce and the largest cash reserves amongst all carmakers, can’t win a race. Not only are those cash reserves the largest, they’ve used up hundreds of millions of dollars of those cash reserves to finance an F1 program that has never won a race. The $ figure is higher than any other competitor in F1, more than Ferrari; McLaren-Mercedes; or BMW.

So Tsutomu Tomita will leave for a different posting in the Toyota corporate structure, leaving behind his F1 Chief job at Toyota for another part of the company that is, perhaps, more dominant. It is not fun to lose. Especially when you’re under pressure, work harder, and spend more.

Toyota does, however, have other laurels on which to rest.