So the pain, for the moment has subsided for Large International Automobile Manufacturer #1. Overall, think the Prez did well though I found it eye-opening that he did not know of the government visits to HQ in December. That is not how things went when I worked there. I handled the visit by the NHTSA administrator to HQ back in the day and I can bet three lunches at the restaurant of your choice that even though the NHTSA official did not meet either the President or Chairman, both were briefed beforehand of the visit and both were briefed after the visit, orally within the day or two after and then later a written report (perhaps mine?).
As for the North American Prez being pilloried for not looking at the internal presentation more carefully, give the guy a break. Sure the content should have never seen the light of day let alone be put on papaer, but the material was but one out of many he got as he made the rounds at all NA affiliates. We are all unequal in how we are compensated for our work; some of us get six-figure salaries while others… but we all are equal in having a threshold for information overload, which I strongly suspect is the case.
Bet my former supervisor and former colleague winced as their names were outed during the hearing (though one is not an executive). Winced too when some of the Congressmen/women made themselves look even more clownish with horribly mangled Japanese greetings.
Think I've seen the interpreter somewhere. She got an 'A' in my book. Disagree with the WaPo assessment that the hearing was a clash of cultures -politically that is. Can't recall offhand exactly what it was, but I remember some NHK broadcasts of antics in the 国会that were just as histrionic and grandstanding.
Did it make a difference? Not really I think. What was probably a badly handed issue on a much lower level has grown into a daisy-cutter bomb filled with dog poo that's going to splatter far and wide.