Toyota’s CEO will step down on April 1. In his place, Koji Sato, hitherto responsible for Lexus, will take over.
Typically, for an industry executive, retiring is something that only matters to the brand. This is not the case when we talk about someone who has become a character, marking a before and after in the direction of the company. This is the case of Akio Toyoda, current CEO of Toyota, who will leave office on April 1.
Koji Sato, who is currently president, chief operating officer and director of Lexus International Co., will lead the world’s largest automaker, while also serving as president of GAZOO Racing Company.
Of course, Toyoda, 66, will not completely dissociate himself from the company created by his grandfather Kiichiro Toyoda, but will continue to chair Toyota’s board of directors.
Toyota took over the reins of Toyota in 2009. Since then, the Japanese brand has established itself as a world reference in terms of hybridization and has regained some of its lost sportiness, leaving behind its image of a manufacturer of household appliances on wheels. .
At the same time, he kept the company on top, increasing its profits, maintaining its reputation for quality and its huge global presence.
Toyoda is a “car guy”, one of the last remaining in the industry (the other is Carlos Tavares, of Stellantis). Its vision of a passionate car is what has led the brand to create attractively designed models, like the Toyota Corolla or the new Toyota Prius, that people want.
He also had the courage to launch sports models on the market, such as the Toyota GT86, now GR 86, or what is an anomaly in the current scenario, the Toyota GR Yaris, a car created expressly to be able to standardize its rally version . .
On the other hand, one could reproach Toyoda for having delayed the entry of the Japanese firm into the era of electromobility. On several occasions, the boss of Toyota criticized the decreasing electric fever of the automotive industry. For example, a button.
Therefore, today Toyota is also seen as stepping back to make way for someone who looks at electric cars with better eyes. In fact, Toyoda, according to Automotive News, explained that someone younger needs to complete Toyota’s transition to a new era.