Toyota’s shareholders are very angry about the brand’s lack of transition to electric vehicles.
Since the electric vehicle boom began and brands began to announce and introduce their respective 100% electric vehicles, the Toyota brand and its premium sub-brand Lexus, began to lag behind on the road to electric transition. In large part, this has happened because Toyota refuses to abandon its heavily invested hybrid technology, coupled with the fact that former CEO Akio Toyoda has always been against electric vehicles.
On the latter point, the company appointed a new leader earlier this year, Koji Sato, ushering in what was expected to be a radical change in the brand’s approach to electric vehicles, although even then it was too late. But this has not been the case either, even though Sato said that under his leadership he would “accelerate BEV development with a new approach”, but neither shareholders nor the general public are convinced by that, as so far there has been no substantial change that would really bear that out.
At the moment, Toyota has only one all-electric car on the market, the Toyota bZ4X, which shares a platform with the Subaru Solterra (another brand also lagging far behind in electrification). If we add the fact that Toyota’s entry into the electric market with that first vehicle has been disastrous, with a multitude of serious problems such as the possible loss of wheels, to the fact that it has not yet launched any other model, it does not seem that Toyota’s future in electrification is going to be remembered?
In China, Toyota launched the bZ3, powered by BYD. It is expected to launch a second electric vehicle on the world market soon, which the brand announced will be another SUV (with three rows of seats) and will be manufactured in the United States. This second electric vehicle is part of the ten new electric vehicles the brand plans to launch globally, in line with its goal of selling 1.5 million electric vehicles worldwide by 2026, in addition to its plans to launch a dedicated EV platform. On the other hand, Lexus is also not on track, with two 100% electric vehicles; Lexus RZ 450e and UX 300e.
As expected, Toyota’s shareholders have said “enough” and even considered voting to oust Akio Toyoda from the board of directors, something that did not work out and he was re-elected, albeit with less support. Shareholders also blame this general anger on the fact that Toyota has not yet set a date for going all-electric, something that most manufacturers have said they will do.
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