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COUNTING THE COST
Toyota, Toyoda
A look at Toyota's failings, and how that has impacted Japan's reputation.
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2010 09:01 GMT

My wife owns a Toyota. A Lexus, more precisely. And with my trusty old Honda currently in the workshop, I have been driving it a lot this week. 

And I would be lying if I said I was not just a little bit concerned every time I hit the gas (or the brakes for that matter) given the problems with millions of Toyota cars all over the world right now.

Admittedly my wife's car is not one of the ones being recalled, but it shows you the effect that Toyota's extraordinary fall-from-grace in the last few weeks has had. 
You just never would have thought that a company like Toyota, with its excellent reputation, would lose sight of the safety of its cars and their drivers.

Not surprisingly, we are looking closely at the Toyota story this week on Counting the Cost. The head of US operations and the big boss, Akio Toyoda, from Japan have both been on Capitol Hill, explaining their failings to American congressmen and women.  We will look at that, and the effect it has had on Japan's reputation as a whole.

Also looking at Google this week - another big company fighting off the courts and the politicians. It really raises the question of these mega-businesses and how growing too bigcan actually make a right royal mess of things. Is there such a thing as 'too big'?  Maybe ask General Motors ... or AIG ... or Lehmann Brothers ... or Goldman Sachs ... or ... well you get the idea!

India and Pakistan is also on our agenda, economically speaking. The countries obviously struggle politically, but that affects their trade as well. 

Did you know billions of dollars worth of goods have to go via Dubai because of trade restrictions? It seems absolutely ridiculous! 

We will break that down with Mohsin Khanfrom the Peterson Institute in Washington DC.

And a lovely little story from here in Qatar. You have got to come to this part of the world to see what real over-the-top bling is all about. I am talking diamond-encrusted cellphones, the jewellery, the thousands of new cars on the road every month. 
Roza Imbragimova has been out and about in Doha seeing how that market was affected by the global downturn.

Big show for you this week, hope you can join us!

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2030; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0130, 1630; Monday: 0830; Tuesday: 0600.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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