Toyota Motor Corp. is likely to name Takeshi Uchiyamada to replace Fujio Cho as its next chairman, according to a report by Nikkei, without citing sources. Uchiyamada, currently vice chairman at Toyota, may also be named as vice chairman of the Keidanren, Japan’s largest business lobbying group, Nikkei reported.
Cho will become a senior adviser at the company after he steps down. Toyota’s will make its final decision at a board meeting in June 2012. Nikkei also reported that Masanori Mitsui and Yasuhiko Ichihashi will be named as presidents of Toyota subsidiaries Daihatsu Motor Co. and Hino Motors Ltd., respectively. Toyota’s day-to-day operations are currently handled by the grandson of the carmaker’s founder, President Akio Toyoda.
The likely change in chairmanship at Toyota comes after about seven years ago in 2006, when Cho was named to the post. Once a new chairman is appointed, he will be facing the tough task of helping Toyoda boost the carmakers’ leadership in the global auto industry, while taking on the challenges posed by Volkswagen AG and Hyundai Motor Co. Naoto Fuse, a spokesman for Toyota, said that the carmaker was not the source of the information in the Nikkei report.
Uchiyamada was responsible for leading the development of the Toyota Prius, currently the best-selling gasoline-electric car in the world.
He was promoted to vice president in 2005 before becoming vice chairman of Toyota’s board in June 2012. Uchiyamada graduated with a degree in applied physics from Nagoya University in 1969 and joined Toyota the same year. Cho, meanwhile, was president of Toyota from 1996 to 2005 before sitting as chairman in 2006.