Akio Toyoda Stepping Down As Toyota CEO in April

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

akio toyoda stepping down as toyota ceo in april

It’s the end of an era at Toyota. CNBC reported that CEO and President Akio Toyoda plans to step down on April 1 and will be replaced by a Lexus official. Toyoda will take on a new role as board chair.

The 66-year-old is the grandson of Toyota’s founder and has been at the helm since 2009. In his announcement, Toyoda said, "these 13 years have been a period of struggling to survive one day after the next, and that is my honest feeling.” Pretty rough assessment from the leader of one of the world’s largest automakers.

Koji Sato will take over for Toyoda. The 53-year-old executive previously handled Lexus and GAZOO racing. He reaffirmed Toyota’s need to push forward in green vehicle development, saying “energy security, for example, that is a big challenge that the whole planet needs to face. And also that the endeavor towards carbon neutrality will be one example of what we have to work on.”

Toyoda has been one of the most vocal opponents of rushing into electrification and has pushed for alternative fuel development. As a result, Toyota only offers one EV in the United States but several hybrids. The automaker is also one of two that offer hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, but only in California. 

[Image: Toyota]

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4 of 6 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Jan 26, 2023

    "April 1" effective date and you believed them?

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jan 26, 2023

    April 1st is the start of Japan's fiscal year. Canada is the same. I love the irony.

  • Jack Jack on Jan 27, 2023

    Bummer, his successor sounds like just another electric car shill :(

    • Luke42 Luke42 on Jan 29, 2023

      Once you've owned an electric vehicle, there's really no going back.

      I've had a great ownership experience with Toyotas, including a Prius.

      But Toyota doesn't have a competitive EV to sell me, so I bought a Tesla instead.

      Toyota lost my business by not selling an EV.

  • Akear Akear on Jan 27, 2023

    His biggest accomplishment was Toyota beating GM in US sales in 2021. Toyota is now the world's top carmaker. GM has slipped to fifth place in international sales.

    What a disgrace!