Toyota is a tough market player but EU legislative changes mean a major source of income is under threat for the Japanese car manufacturer, leaving UK finance director Andrew Singer with his work cut out. Hugh Tomlinson finds out how he plans to steel the company against the coming challenges
Few companies' fortunes have changed so dramatically for the better in the past decade as Toyota's. The Japanese car manufacturer was a respected but peripheral player in the global automotive market, selling 40,000 cars a year in the UK when Andrew Singer joined as finance director of Toyota UK.
Today, the company sells around 160,000 vehicles annually in the UK and has a worldwide market capitalisation greater than the rest of the motor industry put together.
Unsurprisingly, Singer's duties and the make-up of his finance team have changed immensely in that time.
"The skill set of my staff is very different," he says. "The necessary skills used to be more process based, the staff were bookkeepers really. There was a limit to how many cars we could sell in the UK, so we didn't need people who could understand where the margins were going. It was pretty straightforward."
All that has now changed. Singer has made a point of recruiting at a higher level each time a team member has left the company, leaving him to work on strategy.
"I am a lot more involved now with the strategic elements to the business," he says. "My day-to-day tasks are closer to those of a commercial manager. I am much more involved with Toyota's worldwide …