In January 2023 Akio Toyoda, grandson of Toyota Motors founder, was removed from CEO position and kicked upstairs to chairman of the board.
While the hybrid vehicle was developed under his leadership, he never believed in EVs.
A younger man who is a EV proponent replaced Toyoda.
The regime change comes as Toyota is being scrutinized for lagging in the electric vehicle race.
Unlike other automakers that are going all-in on EVs, Toyota has previously said it’s still not convinced that’s the best path forward.
September the NYTimes had an article above Toyota.
Rachel Culin considered herself a Toyota loyalist, one of millions of people who appreciated the company’s reliable and fuel-efficient hybrids. But she recently bought an electric Chevrolet Bolt to replace her Toyota Prius because the Japanese automaker had been too slow when it came to selling electric vehicles.
“Where are the options for those people who love Toyota?” Ms. Culin, a resident of Mesa, Ariz., said. “It’s really sad.”
Once the leading brand for environmentally conscious car owners, Toyota has failed to keep up with changing consumer preferences and a push by governments around the world to greatly reduce the burning of fossil fuels, the main cause of climate change.
The company and the Japanese auto industry are facing the biggest business challenge they have confronted since becoming global giants in the 1980s. How they respond could determine whether they remain at the top of the auto industry or become afterthoughts.
The article goes on to say Toyota leadership was under assault from Tesla and BYD.
Now going forward new EV sales has hit a bump in the road. Still selling but slowing.
EV inventories have increased by 506% from a year ago, with EVs sitting on lots for longer, according to CarGurus’ October report, released this month. EVs sit on the market an average 82 days versus 64 days for gas-powered vehicles, it said. In response to slowing demand, automakers like Ford and GM are cutting production.
The cause for the above, I believe, is the lack of $25,000 EVs and lack of charging infrastructure and the previous lack of fast charging of battery packs. Though the current new EV vehicle has battery packs that now charge much faster.
And toss in the fact that older geezers do not want the hassle to learn about the in and out of charging EVs. They likely are ones buying hybrids that are similar to IC vehicles.
While is developing solid state batteries and I assume other technologies for the EV. They are lowering expectations of the adoption of EVs.
Although Toyota expects record growth this fiscal year, it’s cutting its EV sales forecast by nearly 40%. In Toyota’s latest questionable strategy shift, the company will lean into hybrids to “avoid the price competition” in the EV market.
The automaker recorded sales growth across all regions. Electrified vehicle sales accounted for 35.3% of total sales. However, HEVs carried the load with 1.7 million sold compared to only 59,000 battery electric vehicles.
The EV market is no longer a space with high profit margins. And Toyota has a proven 25 year old reliable hybrid system that they place in all their models.
So Toyota has hit the brakes on the speed of their movement into EV model.
It remains to be seems if this is a smart strategic move or a dumb move that jeopardize their #1 spot of top selling automaker.
Top this story comes from Akio Toyoda in which it appears to me that he is gloating.
Toyota Chairman Projects Mere 30% Maximum Market Share For Battery Electric Vehicles
Toyoda envisions that hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, and conventional fuel-burning cars will dominate the rest of the market, as opposed to EVs. He was speaking at a lecture on Toyota’s production system.
The Chairman further expressed concerns over limiting the transportation options of over a billion people globally who lack electricity. He argued that the decision should be consumer-driven rather than being dictated by regulations or political influence.
“The important thing is not to convert to BEV or FCEV. The enemy is CO2. So, let’s all think about reducing CO2 right away,” he said.
This statement comes in the face of criticisms for Toyota’s perceived slow pace in transitioning to electrification. In defense, Toyota points to its commitment to hybrid drivetrains, hydrogen technology, and a comprehensive strategy to meet the varied needs of customers and environmental concerns.
“I think engine cars will definitely remain,” Toyoda said at the lecture. “That’s why Toyota Motor Corporation, which is competing all over the world, has a full lineup of multi-pathway products.”
A big “I told you so!” to those that removed him from the CEO job.