Toyota Motor Corporation announced that their current Toyota CEO and President will step down on April 1st.
The Japanese automotive company announced that Akio Toyoda, the current Toyota CEO and President for the last 10 years, will resign three months from now. Next in line is Koji Sato, President of the Lexus brand and Toyota’s motorsports and performance car division, Gazoo Racing. In addition, the company reported that Toyoda, 66, will become the new chairman of the board of directors. Current chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada is retiring from his post but will remain a board member. Read Akio Toyoda’s message here.
Toyoda is the grandson of Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded Toyota Motor Corporation in 1937. He has been serving as Toyota CEO since 2009 and has overseen several significant efforts to improve the company’s operations and gains. During his tenure as head of the world’s largest automaker, Toyota has made significant strides in transitioning to electric vehicles. However, their first dedicated EV release, the bZ4X, had a rocky start with a recall and stop-sale last year due to faulty wheel hub bolts. Although they relaunched the model, sales expectations remain low.
As a car enthusiast, Toyoda pointed out that his “strong passion for cars” limited some aspects of digitalization and electrification at Toyota during his time at the helm. So while he may be stepping down from the leadership role soon, no one’s certain if his departure will change the brand’s priorities as we advance.
The Toyota CEO’s surprise announcement could signal a strategic shift in Toyota’s approach to electric vehicles. Many industry watchers had expected Mr. Toyoda to impede such a transition due to his concerns over the abundance of raw materials needed for a complete switchover. However, with his stepping down, the hurdle might disappear. With this, Toyota may be ready to embrace electric vehicles fully.
Either way, Toyoda’s contributions to Toyota’s transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles will leave a lasting impression on the automotive landscape. Moreover, his retirement provides an opportunity for new leadership to make progress in this space and continue advancing Toyota’s electrification efforts. Time will tell how successful they are at taking this initiative into the future.
Toyota is one of the world’s leading automobile companies, with a presence in more than 170 countries. It has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and innovation. With this new shift in leadership, it is expected that Toyota will continue to be at the forefront of the industry for years to come.
The Deal With Sato
Sato, the new Toyota CEO, is well-versed in electric vehicles, having served as chief officer for Toyota’s EV business since April 2019. His appointment to president signals a commitment by Toyota to shift into an even more focused direction toward EVs over internal combustion engines.
Sato has already implemented changes to help achieve this goal, such as introducing a versatile platform for developing future EVs and investing in various battery technologies. He also plans to continue Toyoda’s mission of creating cars that combine fun with quality and safety. That, while adapting them to the current industry changes and consumer needs.
Toyota hopes Sato will bring the company closer to achieving its electrification goals with his visionary leadership skills and understanding of the electric vehicle industry. Analysts have already suggested that Sato’s appointment reflects a shift in Toyota’s attitude toward electric vehicles. As a result, the company will likely continue investing in EV technology under his leadership.
Sato has acknowledged the importance of embracing the new direction for electric vehicles, saying that we need to take a step back in order so that young people enter the new chapter of what the future of mobility. With this ambition, Toyota hopes that Sato will be able to lead them into a more electrified future. Check some Toyota vehicles in our inventory by clicking on the link.