Akio Toyoda Steps Down As CEO of Toyota, Becomes Chairman of the Board

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Toyota changed its executive structure and board of directors. Most notably, Akio Toyoda will no longer be the automaker’s chief executive officer, but he will become chairman of the board.

Toyoda has been president and CEO of Toyota for the past 13 years. Koji Sato will be the automaker’s new CEO. He currently serves as chief branding officer, international president of Lexus, boss of Gazoo Racing.

“I’m an automaker, through and through. I believe that’s how I managed to turn Toyota. But the automaker is who I am. And I see that as my own limit. The new team under incoming President Sato is on a mission to turn Toyota into a mobility company,” Toyoda said of the leadership change.

Technically, these changes don’t take effect until the shareholders’ meeting on April 1, 2023.

Toyota recently announced that it hopes to build 10.6 million vehicles by 2023. Although, suppliers have told the company they expect parts volumes at 10 percent less than ideal output.

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Toyota intends to become carbon neutral in Europe by 2040. That includes a 100 percent CO2 reduction by 2035. Steps to make this possible are already underway. For example, the Deeside factory in England has recycled 90 percent of its waste to produce green energy.

Like many automakers, Toyota is working on a transition to EVs. However, Jack Hollis, executive VP of sales in North America, believes the 2030 goal of electric vehicle adoption may be difficult to achieve due to consumer demand for this model.

In the near future, Toyota is preparing to launch the three-row Grand Highlander on February 8, 2023. The company’s teaser calls it “the ultimate road trip vehicle”. This model is supposed to fall somewhere between the standard Highlander and the larger Sequoia SUV. Later, it is possible that there will be a Lexus variant which is allegedly going to carry the TX name.

For more discussion of Toyota’s future, check out this episode of Rambling About Cars:

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