Xinhua (China Daily) Interviews Wottrich; “Cultural tendency contributes to Toyota’s crisis: U.S. expert”

by Jing Zhao Cesarone

CHICAGO, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) — Toyota’s cultural tendency to “save face” has contributed to its recent crisis, a U.S. expert said.

The company cloaked its operations behind an impenetrable public face and tried to solve problems internally, rather than dealing with product problems in a pubic way, Richard Wottrich, managing director at investment bank Dresner Partners, told Xinhua on Thursday.

“To a large extent, this is a cultural clash. But a global company has to understand how they should proceed in other cultures,” he said.

 Toyota’s troubles have more to do with the historical Japanese tendency of trying to solve problems internally and to maintain a good public face, said the expert, who has over 30 years of experiences in the financial service sector.

That is in contrast to the Western approach in which “you get out in front of these things publicly and take responsibilities at very early stage,” Wottrich added.

“Any auto manufacturer must understand the media environment that we exist in today,” said the expert.

“Everything is communicated immediately on a 24/7 basis in an Internet-Twitter-texting-Facebook-webcam-YouTube swirl of information,” he added. 

Full article: 2010-02-20 07:20:05