As we all know, the Toyota Motor Corporation is set to have a new CEO by April. Akio Toyoda will be taking a step back after 13 years, and taking his place is Koji Sato. While the new president is yet to take office, Sato has already outlined some major changes that will happen under his leadership.
Together with management and structural changes, Koji Sato has announced the automaker will tackle a different approach when it comes to the development of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), with the Lexus brand leading the company's electrification strategy.
Under Sato's leadership, executive vice president Masanori Kuwata will serve as the new boss of Lexus and will be tasked to promote the new BEV business strategy and the restructuring of the production system in Kyushu. Kuwata was previously Toyota's chief compliance and risk officer, as well as the boss of global human resources.
Sato said the company will develop a next-generation BEV platform for the Lexus brand by 2026. While he gave no specific details about this new EV architecture, this move could further hasten the transformation of Lexus as an all-electric car company.
Previously, when Sato was running Lexus and the Toyota Gazoo Racing division, Toyota's luxury brand was looking to achieve all-electric status by the year 2035.
“To deliver attractive BEVs to more customers, we must streamline the structure of the car, and―with a BEV-first mindset―we must drastically change the way we do business, from manufacturing to sales and service. Lexus will lead this transformation” said Sato.