Who would be in Akio Toyoda's shoes right now?

Just last week, Akio Toyoda took to the stage in Tokyo not just as the new chief of Japan's mighty Toyota Motor Corporation, but as a man with a mission.

Toyota, not so long ago was locked on this seemingly unstoppable path to the stars, one that ultimately saw it overtake GM to go world number one.

But now it's all gone south, Toyota's in the red and it's Akio's job now to get it all back on track.

His idea: to break with the formula that saw Toyota simply pile on more sales, more profits year after year and switch to the more measured 'customer first' policies of the past. To divide the world into regions and produce cars that are exciting, that people 'really want to buy.'

Fair enough, you'd say. As far as Europe's concerned, this means a 'distinctive business model for Toyota in the region so we're not lost in the crowd.' At the heart of this will be hybrids, and more of them.

Akio, a personable, 53-year old car loving exec, still faces a welter of problems, though, not least the fact that Toyota has a ten million unit global capacity but plans this year to do 'only' 6.5.