Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the company’s founder, has been named the new president of Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyoda, 53, along with new management team, would hold the reins amid dipping car sales and a record loss for the year to March.
The slumps in the industry, volatile fuel prices, and tight credit have already driven rivals General Motors into bankruptcy. Outgoing President Watanabe said at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting that the company could continue to face hardships in the business environment for some time. The company would try and achieve deeper cost cutting than planned.
At a board meeting, Watanabe was confirmed to be the vice-chairman along with the promotion of Toyoda. Toyoda has long been a candidate to head the company that was formed in 1937 by his grandfather. Honorary chairman, Shoichiro Toyoda, Toyoda’s father resigned from the board. Yoshimi Inaba would return as a director and would be in charge of the company’s North American operations. He had left in 2007 as executive vice president to be in charge of an airport that Toyota assisted in building.
Toyoda and the new management team are scheduled to hold a press conference on Thursday in Tokyo.