March 2nd, 2010
01:32 PM GMT
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As I sit on the floor at the Toyota stand at the Geneva Motor Show – such is the crush at the moment – waiting to interview a European executive, the troubled Japanese car maker's sporty prototype, FT-86, silently rotates on its platform, much to the excitement of the motor media trade.

Toyota's sporty prototype, the FT-86S.
Toyota's sporty prototype, the FT-86S.

This red sports car is touted by Toyota as a return to "exciting and emotional" products.

There are no outward signs that the world's biggest automaker is facing so many bumps in the road.

But the car industry thinks long term. Toyota is showing its third generation Prius in Europe for the first time, a Prius plug in – a first for me – and a massive roll out of Hybrid technology for many of its smaller cars.

John Fleming of Ford Europe told me it sees no impact, good or bad, from the Toyota mess.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Aston Martin proudly showed off its smallest car, the tiny Cygnet, which is based on the Toyota iQ.  It’s a heck of a gamble for a super luxury brand to introduce a small Toyota-based model with the AM wings.

Starting at 30,000 euros ($40,461), the company says its customers would use it to nip around the city before jumping into a bigger model for the evening.

Images from Geneva Motor Show

For all the wrong reasons, the Geneva Motor Show is Toyota's show. People here wonder when the company can get back to worrying about being number one?

Watch my interview with Andrea Formica, Toyota Europe's Senior Vice President, on Quest Means Business on Wednesday at 2000 CET, 0300 HK.

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Filed under: AsiaBusinessJapanTechnology

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Bora-bora

    Troubled Japanese car maker? How long will you continue to beat the dead horse sniding Toyota?
    Why don't you come yet with the fresh news about the General Motors latest car recall?? Too bad for the CNN news?

    March 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  2. Irvine Mawere

    looking good thats all, after all that unwanted Congressional hearing, this is something to look forward to, right??

    March 2, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  3. Jeff

    Bora-bora is right i dont know what you mean by troubled Japanese car maker.i have a dodge nitro which stops in the middle of the road for no reason at all and i have to call my wife who drives a Toyota camry its never given a problem even with accelerator the way it took less than 20minutes to correct it.

    March 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  4. Avrailer (Jeremii)

    So does this mean that toyota is coming back?

    March 4, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  5. Chief Oracle Officer

    Toyota have earn Billions and they can use it to make more billions. Its just doing business. Hope Toyoda grandson learn his lesson.

    March 5, 2010 at 3:05 am |
  6. Avrailer (Jeremii)

    Wow this was a pointless article... lol

    I'm really beginning to think that someone is trying to stop toyota from making business... Obama?? j/k lol

    March 5, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  7. john

    I agree with bora-bora. CNN is bashing toyota almost on a daily base. this is not journalism but an attempt of the U.S. car-lobby to disgrace toyota.
    instead of making better cars the GM's decided to bully the smartest kid in class. CNN is just one of the platforms for Toyota bashing. it makes me worried about the lethal mix of news and corporate propaganda.

    March 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  8. Tom

    Toyota and other Auto manufactures recalls and recall repairs could be better addressed if the Auto Insurance companies would stand and adjust premiums accordingly on vehicles with life threatening injury recalls . I am sure the Auto industry would sit up and take notice. After all, it costs the Insurance Industry to prove without a doubt, where the fault lies and to pay benifits. Yes eventually the Party responsible pays, but the "watch word" is " waiting", for that payment. Who is holding the bag and for how long?

    March 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  9. Nick

    It is not possible for the insurance companies to know every single car that might have a defect and then charge customers. This "smearing" of Toyota has nothing to do with the fact that Toyota is making faulty cars and finally someone is actually pointing out that these Japanese cars really just aren't that great. Nissan and GM both make higher quality cars at the moment and this should be viewed as more of a call to Toyota to step up and make better cars.

    March 24, 2010 at 12:01 pm |

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