No, Akio Toyoda, the 66-year-old grandson of the company founder, has not completely disappeared from the scene, but is 'only' moving to the chairmanship of the supervisory board after 14 years. Toyota seems to be hard-
nosed when it comes to sticking to principles.
The position of CEO will be handed over to 53-year-old Koji Sato. As an engineer, he accompanied Toyota's development into what is currently the world's largest automobile manufacturer for 30 years, including the
legendary hybrid development.
Sato was previously president of the Lexus subsidiary, which is in the upper price segment. In addition to its operating distance, the company also has the greatest value. But anyone who thought that the new CEO would
finally make a decisive switch to electromobility will probably be disappointed.
So the new man at the top is also spreading statements that point to maintaining the approach of multiple solutions to environmental problems. You want to transform yourself from a car manufacturer into a provider of
mobility, but at the same time you want to give consumers as much freedom of choice as possible.
So the new man at the top is also spreading statements that point to maintaining the approach of multiple solutions to environmental problems. The company wants to transform itself from a carmaker to a provider of
mobility, but at the same time give consumers as much freedom of choice as possible.
Apparently Sato doesn't see pure electric cars as the only way into the future either. One obviously has more in mind than just the pure answer to climate change; for example, one fears a 17 percent decline in profits for the
current 2023 financial year due to increased costs.
How dependent is the new CEO on the old CEO? Despite all its other successes, Toyota didn't exactly cover itself with glory when it introduced the only self-developed electric car. After all, a worldwide recall of the bz4X was
necessary to replace the wheel bolts and another to check the airbags.
There is even the question of whether further defects, e.g. catastrophic consumption, especially in winter, can even be remedied to some extent in a car that has already been delivered, e.g. through a recall or OTA update.
Toyota's skepticism regarding the newer battery technologies was still evident during the transition from hybrids to those with plug-in technology. Until now, metal hydride batteries had been relied upon. Most recently, there
were warnings about shortages of lithium and nickel and it was said that purely electric cars would not become established as quickly as expected.
So the propagated 'widest possible' options for customers are not being maintained at the moment when it comes to purely electric cars. It can be assumed that if one, like others, rely too quickly on pure electric mobility,
one really fears for your position in the world.
You don't even have to believe the company that the future belongs to hydrogen or fuel cells. The Mirai is currently sold in 'homeopathic' doses in California. A network of gas stations could perhaps be set up there to finally
emulate Tesla's successes.
But expanding that would simply be too expensive and you still wouldn't be able to charge at home. Toyota probably knows this too. It can be assumed that the current strategy is only intended to gain time, e.g. to skip one or
two development stages of battery development.
After all, they also supply markets in Africa, parts of Asia and South America, where people will not be able to afford expensive electric vehicles in the foreseeable future. In addition, the charging infrastructure there is
probably not very well developed.
However, the company has fallen into disrepute because of the defects in the only self-developed electric car. They are reportedly studying Tesla cars more and more right now. However, the philosophies are also very
different, Tesla with lean and Toyota with usually very thorough production technology.
It will be seen whether upgrades for the e-TNGA platform of the bz4x, Lexus RZ and bz3 are sufficient for the Chinese market or whether one decides to develop a completely new one, which would of course extend the
'suffering time' with the current one. Both will probably happen . . .