AP

Toyota’s CEO-to-be outlines leadership team bullish on EVs

Feb 13, 2023, 12:39 AM | Updated: 11:10 am

Koji Sato, center, Toyota chief branding officer and CEO-designate poses with his management teams,...

Koji Sato, center, Toyota chief branding officer and CEO-designate poses with his management teams, Kazuaki Shingo, left, chief production officer, Yoichi Miyazaki, second left, executive vice president, CFO, Hiroki Nakajima, second right, executive vice president, CTO, Simon Humphries, right, chief branding officer, during a press conference Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, in Tokyo. Sato, who was appointed the next president at Japan’s top automaker Toyota, introduced a management team Monday that he said will lead an aggressive push on electric vehicles. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — The next president at Japan’s top automaker Toyota, Koji Sato, introduced a management team Monday that he said will lead an aggressive push on electric vehicles.

Sato stressed that “electrification” is a key theme for his team and promised to develop a totally new, next-generation electric vehicle by 2026.

That will be a Lexus, while Toyota Motor Corp. will also beef up all its EV model offerings, Sato said.

“Lexus will lead the move,” he told reporters at a news conference in Tokyo. “I see myself as the captain of the soccer team.”

In a presentation, Sato listed the various executives, each with different responsibilities, such as carbon neutrality, safety technology, as well as overseeing regions like North America and Asia.

Hiroki Nakajima, who now oversees mid-size vehicles, was named executive vice president overseeing technology. Yoichi Miyazaki, who has been overseeing business operations, was named chief financial officer.

The selection of Sato, now Toyota’s chief branding officer, as the next chief executive was announced last month. The new leadership takes the helm April 1.

Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid and Camry sedan, has billed the move as an effort to stay abreast of social changes like electrification. At times it has been seen as lagging its rivals in EVs.

The company’s success with hybrids, which have both a battery and a gas engine, and hydrogen fuel cells may be partly behind that perception.

Sato reiterated that view, noting that Toyota is intent on reducing emissions with models that are already widespread. Most vehicles on the roads today run on gas, he noted.

Toyota officials have always said they have BEV technology, which stands for “battery electric vehicles,” or pure EVs. But that market has so far been dominated by the likes of Tesla, Japanese rival Nissan and BYD of China.

“We have been working on developing BEVs, but the perception may not have reflected that as well,” Sato said.

The electric vehicles Toyota offers can’t be just more EVs to keep up with the times, but “must answer the question of what kind of EV Toyota can offer,” he said.

Sato and the other executives said the company’s entire production system must be revamped to make quality EVs. Toyota is also grappling with the high cost of the batteries, although lowering costs is not a goal in itself. Toyota prides itself on its “just in time” production system.

Toyota will also make more intelligent cars that are safer and more fun, Sato said, implying they will link to the net and offer other entertainment features.

With its management reshuffle, Toyota’s chief executive and president, Akio Toyoda, who is grandson of the company’s founder, becomes its chairman. Toyoda did not appear at Monday’s announcement.

Sato has also overseen the Lexus luxury division and Toyota motor racing. The appointments still need shareholders’ approval, scheduled for the company’s next general meeting.

___

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

17 hours ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

1 day ago

Former President Donald Trump, center, appears in court for his arraignment, Tuesday, April 4, 2023...

Associated Press

Manhattan court searching for jurors to hear first-ever criminal case against a former president

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump's hush money case — the first trial of the presumptive nominee.

1 day ago

Emergency personnel arrive on the scene after a  an 18-wheeler crashed into the Texas Department of...

Associated Press

1 dead and 13 injured in semitrailer crash at a Texas public safety office, with the driver jailed

A driver rammed an 18-wheeler though the front of a building where his renewal for a commercial driver’s license had been rejected.

1 day ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump speaks at a Get Out The Vote rally ...

Associated Press

Trump pushes Arizona lawmakers to ‘remedy’ state abortion ruling that he says ‘went too far’

Donald Trump urged Arizona lawmakers on Friday to swiftly “remedy” the state court ruling allowing prosecutors to enforce an abortion ban.

2 days ago

Biden to require more gun dealers to run background checks....

Associated Press

Biden administration will require thousands more gun dealers to run background checks on buyers

New Biden rule to require thousands more firearms dealers across the United States will have to run background checks on buyers.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Toyota’s CEO-to-be outlines leadership team bullish on EVs