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Having drawn lessons from a series of predicaments since the 2008 global economic crisis, Toyota Motor Corp. is focusing on lowering production costs worldwide and improving its competitiveness in design as overseas competition builds.

“We are finally getting out of the long tunnel after the Lehman shock,” Akio Toyoda, president of the automaker, told some 230 graduates of the Toyota Technical Skills Academy in February, a training institute within the group.

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