New Toyota CEO tackles EV profitability with renewed vigor

(Credit: Toyota)

New Toyota CEO, Koji Sati, has announced a new three-part plan to help make the company’s EV strategy profitable as soon as possible.

When Akio Toyoda announced that he would be retiring from his long-held post of CEO at Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, many investors were left uncertain about the company’s future, yet hopeful that a new executive could breathe fire into the historic auto giant. And that is precisely what has happened with Toyota’s new CEO, Koji Sato, who has more aggressively pursued electric vehicles. Now, the new CEO has announced his plan to make Toyota’s EV strategy profitable as quickly as possible.

Sato’s new EV plan is quite a shift compared to the one previously announced by Akio Toyoda. Toyota now plans for an annual production capacity of 1.5 million EVs by 2025 and 3.5 million by 2030. And while this shift sounds like a significant shift for the previously EV-hesitant company, Sato is now tasked with making it a reality.

As part of this quest, Sato has outlined his new profitability plan, which Automotive News initially reported.

Toyota’s profitability plan has three parts, and the first step has already been completed; introduce the company’s first electric offerings in top global markets. Following this step, which at the very least has provided the Japanese automaker with many lessons, Toyota must implement changes, which will be coming in its next round of upcoming EVs. Third and finally, by introducing its new EV platform by 2026, Toyota aims to double the range its EVs are capable of, increase its revenue streams, and half the cost of EV development.

Toyota’s focus on profitability is undoubtedly unique for the company. As noted by Automotive News, Toyota has traditionally been a leader in profitability, consistently achieving a margin of 10%. But with the advent of Tesla’s now industry-leading ~20% margins, Toyota is under renewed pressure to improve.

Luckily, the company’s planned increase in revenue streams is set to rejuvenate its balance sheet, but it remains unclear how customers will take to the required changes.

As part of its second step toward EV profitability, Toyota will introduce its “Arena software system,” which will dramatically increase the monetization of vehicles after purchase. Some of these changes have already been seen on newer Toyota vehicles, including a monthly subscription system for remote air conditioning and other phone controls. Yet with a growing contingent of automakers looking to do the very same thing, customers may have no choice but to go along.

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William Johnson: Will is an auto enthusiast, a gear head, and an EV enthusiast above all. From racing, to industry data, to the most advanced EV tech on earth, he now covers it at Teslarati.
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