Toyota's president to visit China on Monday

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Associated Press

Posted on February 28, 2010 at 6:32 AM

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota President Akio Toyoda ventures into the world's biggest auto market tomorrow in an effort to boost confidence and ease consumer worries about quality problems.

He'll speak to reporters in China about the spate of global recalls.

Toyoda, who testified at a U.S. congressional hearing last week, will be speaking in a country where his company has ambitious plans for growth.

China's overall vehicle sales soared 45 percent last year to 13.6 million, overtaking the U.S. as the world's biggest auto market.

The number of vehicles being recalled in China is small compared with the 8.5 million worldwide.

Toyoda's haste in moving on to China appears to reflect the company's eagerness to restore the reputation for high quality that is its key advantage there.

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<<APPHOTO WX109 (02/24/10)>>

: FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2010, file photo Toyota Motor Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda, left, and Toyota Motor North America, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Yoshimi Inaba, testify on Capitol Hill in Washington. To understand why people don't trust institutions, and why America is so disgruntled, look no further than the capital: Toyota executives apologized for safety recalls but said their gas-pedal fix may "not totally" solve spontaneous acceleration problems. They also got subpoenas seeking answers to these familiar, chilling questions: What did they know and when did they know it?

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