Business / Corporate

Toyota boss Akio Toyoda says automakers, various industrial sectors need to cooperate in order to innovate

JIJI

Automakers need to work harder with companies in other industrial sectors in Japan to promote technological innovations, Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda said Thursday.

The auto industry is undergoing a historic transition period in the face of the advent of electrification and autonomous driving, Toyoda noted at the inaugural news conference of his second stint as chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

“We hope to get over the difficult situation on an all-Japan basis,” he said.

Toyoda, who served as JAMA chairman between 2012 and 2014, became the first person to be elected for a second time.

The two-year term of JAMA chairman has rotated between the heads of Toyota, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co.

Toyoda said domestic automakers once led electrification and are thus positioned to respond properly this time again.

But he added that Japan’s auto industry needs to respond to changes “in a speedy manner,” apparently referring to the threat of the growing influence of Chinese companies and Western technology firms.

He also expressed concern about a possible loss of confidence in Japanese manufacturers, citing a recent series of product quality scandals.

The association will strive to restore trust in them, Toyoda said.