Nikkei newspaper reported that Toyota might choose Takeshi Uchiyamada to replace Fujio Cho as the automaker’s next chairman.
Toyota’s board will decide in June whether Cho, seek 75, will become the company’s senior adviser. The newspaper repot said that Uchiyamada, who is currently vice chairman at Toyota and who led the development of the hybrid Prius car in 1990s, might also be named vice chairman of the Keidanren lobbying group.
If Toyota made this change in membership, it would be the first since 2006 when Cho took on the role. The new chairman will have the difficult task to help the automaker regain the first spot as the world’s largest automaker, surpassing competitive rivals such as VW and Hyundai. Naoto Fuse, a Tokyo-based spokesman for Toyota, said that the report was not based on information coming from the automaker and refused to comment on this issue. The newspaper also reported that Masanori Mitsui and Yasuhiko Ichihashi are to be named presidents of Toyota’s subsidiaries Daihatsu and Hino Motors.
Uchiyamada, 66, who was responsible for the development of the Prius, was named vice president in 2005 and then vice chairman of Toyota’s board in June 2012.