TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday each the president and chairman of Daihatsu Motor will step down almost a 12 months after the small-car unit said it had rigged collision safety-tests.
The departures are amongst essentially the most drastic changes Daihatsu has made thus far, as Toyota seeks to return the brand to its roots as one among Japan’s most iconic compact automobile makers.
Toyota faces a possible hit to its fame from the security certification lapses at Daihatsu, in addition to separate governance issues at truck maker Hino Motors and affiliate Toyota Industries.
The scandals on the three firms triggered a rare apology of Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda last month.
In a press release, the world’s top-selling automaker said its chief executive officer for the Latin America and Caribbean region, Masahiro Inoue, will replace Soichiro Okudaira as Daihatsu’s president effective March 1.
Daihatsu’s chairman, Sunao Matsubayashi, may also step down and won’t get replaced, Toyota added.
The outgoing Okudaira had worked at Toyota for nearly 4 a long time before becoming president of Daihatsu in 2017, a 12 months after it became a completely owned Toyota subsidiary.
Toyota Chief Executive Koji Sato told reporters, nevertheless, that the organizational change at Daihatsu was not carried out as a punishment for the outgoing executives.
In volume terms, Daihatsu accounted for 7% of Toyota’s total group sales of 11.2 million vehicles in 2023, including those of the posh Lexus brand and Hino Motors.
Given the misconduct over the security test certification applications, Daihatsu also can be faraway from a industrial vehicle partnership often known as the Industrial Japan Partnership Technologies (CJPT), the automaker said in a separate statement.
The partnership was established in April 2021 by Toyota, Hino and Isuzu Motors to facilitate technology development for industrial vehicles. Suzuki Motor and Daihatsu joined in July the identical 12 months.
Daihatsu’s 10% equity stake within the partnership can be transferred to Toyota, the statement said.
(Reporting by Daniel Leussink and Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Kim Coghill & Shri Navaratnam and Miral Fahmy)
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