Toyota Motor Corporation has announced a raft of changes to its organisational structure and executive line-up in what its president Akio Toyoda describes as a “now or never” situation.
The changes are due to be implemented in January 2018, the Japanese automaker said in a statement.
“With the advance of electrification, automation, connectivity and other technologies, [Toyota] believes the automotive industry has now entered a phase of competition and co-ordination that involves entities from other industries.
To further strengthen co-operation among companies of the Toyota Group and “boost business innovation”, the automaker has decided to “change its executive line-up and revise its organisational structure”. Thus, a number of executives from other group companies have been pulled into Toyota’s management.
Surrounded by what the brand calls “changes of unprecedented speed and scale”, Toyota said it “is aware it faces a ‘now or never’ situation in which not a moment can be spared”.
Toyota said that its heavily revised executive line-up would include people from within and outside the Toyota Group and feature “greater diversity by including a female executive, additional non-Japanese executives and executives with technical-position backgrounds”.
The establishment of “fellow” posts for executives with a high level of expertise was also announced (with American Gill Pratt the first to receive the fellow title, in addition to holding the post of CEO of the Toyota Research Institute), along with the comprehensive restructuring of corporate management-related divisions and the business planning and operation unit, among others.
“The automotive industry has entered an era of profound transformation, the likes of which come only once every 100 years,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda.
“Over the next 100 years, there is no guarantee that automobile manufacturers will continue to play leading roles in mobility. A crucial battle has begun – not one about winning or losing, but one about surviving or dying,” he added.
“We will pursue alliances with other companies and other industries. But, before that, it is essential that we concentrate the capabilities of the Toyota Group.
Toyoda confirmed that the brand would diversify its appointments.
“Our coming structural change reflects our will that the Toyota Group will tackle this era of profound transformation. This change includes the appointment of people with high levels of expertise, regardless of time with the company or age and from the perspective of having the right people in the right places. This is an era in which the correct answers are unknown,” Toyoda said.
“Knowing that the customer comes first, we need to have people who understand the workplace well enough to lead with quick judgment, quick decisions and quick action through genchi genbutsu [on-site learning and problem-solving] as they see fit in response to all kinds of situations.
“To create forms of mobility to which people can feel intimately connected, and to be able to provide the freedom and joy of mobility to all people, everyone working for Toyota will unite in spirit and continuously take up new challenges,” he added.