Akio Toyoda, the driving force behind the Lexus LF-A & grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda, is scheduled to become the Japanese company’s next president & CEO. From the Automotive News:
Toyoda will succeed current President Katsuaki Watanabe in June, the company said today, ending weeks of speculation. An executive vice president since 2005, Toyoda will be 53 when he takes the helm, making him the youngest president in the company’s history.
Some Japanese media are already portraying the affable, motor racing fan as the anointed family prince finally riding to the rescue of a national icon. Speaking at news conference, Toyoda himself said he hopes to someday be seen as the “flag” that rallied a corporate comeback.
This is the same man that drove the LF-A during Toyota’s Motorsports Festival last year, so this certainly bodes well for the LF-A’s future and the continued expansion of the Lexus F-Sport performance line-up.
However, this has to the potential to be something much more significant. Although Toyota just passed GM as the largest automotive manufacturer in the world, the top isn’t an easy place to be. Lexus & Toyota are in tough, and this change may be exactly what it takes to bring some fresh air to both brands.
[Source: Automotive News]