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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Akio Toyoda to step down as Toyota CEO, move reins to Lexus chief

Akio Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda, is leaving his place as president and CEO of Toyota to turn into its chairman, the automaker introduced on Thursday.

His successor has been named as Koji Sato, the present chief of Lexus and chief of Gazoo, the official motorsports division of Toyota and Lexus.

Toyota’s present chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, will stay as a board member after Toyoda takes over as chairman.

The adjustments are efficient April 1, 2023.

Koji Sato

Koji Sato

Toyoda led Toyota since 2009, throughout which period he managed to inject some much-needed vitality into the automaker’s designs and sportiness into its engineering. An avid racer himself, Toyoda additionally noticed Toyota develop its motorsports presence, notably on the prime stage of endurance racing.

Toyoda additionally helped Toyota launch its first quantity electrical automobiles within the type of the brand new BZ sequence, regardless of having a continued reluctance to totally embrace EVs, not like the leaders of another automakers.

Although the overarching technique at Toyota is not anticipated to vary a lot beneath Sato’s reign, particularly with Toyoda serving as chairman, we may see a stronger push towards EVs. Whereas at Lexus, Sato dedicated the model to having an EV choice in every section the model competes in by 2030. Lexus additionally plans to have zero-emission automobiles, which incorporates gas cell-electric automobiles, account for 100% of its gross sales within the U.S., Europe and China by 2030, and the remainder of the world by 2035.

Sato first joined Toyota in 1992, earlier than working his means as much as turn into chief engineer at Lexus in 2016. He grew to become the pinnacle of Lexus, in addition to Gazoo, in 2020.

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