Toyota says consumer choice determines the pace of electrification

Toyota, Japan, June 15 (Reuters)-Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T) needs to offer a variety of car options in opposition to criticisms of delayed adoption of battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) Insisted that there is. Markets and customers.

At Wednesday’s annual meeting, the world’s largest automakers by sales doubled in their position to stick to technologies such as fuel cell vehicles and hybrid vehicles that have become leaders in cleaner vehicles for the past two decades.

Aside from concerns about electrification strategies, Toyota executives addressed a variety of questions about the CEO’s succession plan for an ongoing chip shortage.

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Toyota, once a popular hybrid Prius model that was popular with environmentalists, was accused of lobbying for climate policy rather than phasing out petrol more

“The goal is carbon neutral,” Toyota Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda told the conference in response to a question posed by the Danish pension fund Academic Car more

However, in order to popularize electric vehicles equipped with plug-in hybrids, “customers need to make a choice,” Maeda said. Various options should be available, and automakers shouldn’t narrow them down, he said.

“Toyota used the excuse of customer choice to avoid answering questions about lobbying … to delay the transition to fossil-fuel-free cars,” Akademicer Pension said in a post-AGM statement. I mentioned in.

“As investors, we look forward to more in 2022 against the backdrop of the climate crisis, which could limit much more than customer choices in the not too distant future.”

Toyota argues that hybrids still make sense in markets where infrastructure is not ready to support a faster transition to BEVs, and the feasibility of green fuels for internal combustion engines containing hydrogen I am investigating.

Seiji Sugiura, senior analyst at the Tokai Tokyo Research Institute, said there is a gap between Toyota, which is working on decarbonization in a “practical” way, and environmental groups that seek immediate action.

He said Toyota has been working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the car production stage.

Last year, the company promised to spend 8 trillion yen ($ 60 billion) on electrification of vehicles by 2030, half of which is used to develop fully electric vehicles. Still, annual sales of such vehicles are expected to reach just 3.5 million by the end of the decade, which is about one-third of current sales.

Just last month, Toyota launched its first mass-produced all-electric vehicle domestically, but only for leasing, and gasoline-electric hybrid models are much more popular in more

Next CEO

Regarding the development of successors, Akio Toyoda, CEO, who has led the company for 13 years, said, “We are thinking about the selection and timing of successors.”

Toyota has no intention of resigning.

Kiichiro Toyoda (66), the grandson of founder Kiichiro Toyoda, led the company into the dark by reporting billions of dollars in losses after Toyota’s sales fell after the recall of millions of vehicles. rice field.

“Choose someone who understands the company’s philosophy as a successor,” he added.

Toyota has sought to reform Toyota’s corporate culture, spend more time with young executives and reduce some senior positions.

In 2020, veterans Maeda and Kenta Kon were appointed as top executives. At that time, both were 51 years old. It was a relatively young age for Toyota’s top executives.

Toyota, which sold 10.5 million cars in 2021, far surpassed its closest rival, Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), and suffered from the global chip crisis, repeatedly reducing production this year.

Kazunari Kumakura, head of the company’s purchasing group, expects a tip shortage to continue on Wednesday, albeit with signs of improvement.

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Report by Satoshi Sugiyama; edited by Sayantani Ghosh and Richard Pullin

Our Criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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