Car fan and racer becomes Toyota CEO

AutoTrader NZ
Published 3 September 2020

Given the background of the house of bland’s new president and CEO, Akio Toyoda, maybe so.

Toyota announced today that, Akio Toyoda (52), the grandson of Toyota’s founder, will take over the top job mid-year.

So? Well, Toyoda is a confirmed petrolhead who has raced in the Nurburgring 24 Hours and has pushed the Lexus LF-A supercar (pictured) and IS-F super sedan projects.

Toyota said recently that it will continue to develop the LF-A, a car that Akio Toyoda personally demonstrated at the Toyota Motor Sports Festival at Fuji Speedway in Japan last year.

Toyoda takes over the reins at a particularly difficult time for the global automotive industry in general and Toyota in particular.

The company, long regarded as virtually financially bulletproof, is predicting its first-ever loss and has seen its sales drop four percent – from the expected 10 million a year to 8.97.

It has shelved plans to commission a factory in Alabama, USA, to build the new generation Prius hybrid after American sales of the petrol/electric car plummeted.

Toyoda is tipped to make radical changes to the way the company operates and to return it to its original customer-first policy.

And lets hope he’ll spice up the product range and inject some fresh pizzaz, charisma and character into the brand that is seen as building the world’s most dependable and sensible, though for the main part unexciting, cars.