Toyota Motor plans to replace its president after forecasting what has been variously its first-ever operating loss or its first in decades, a Japanese paper said on Tuesday (23 December).

The Asahi Shimbun said Toyota is considering moving vice president Akio Toyoda to the post, currently held by Katsuaki Watanabe, at the start of the next financial year in April.

Watanabe would be assigned the more advisory role of vice chairman, the daily said without citing sources.

Agence France-Presse noted that Toyoda, 52, a grandson of Toyota's founder Kiichiro Toyoda, would be the first member of the family in 14 years to become the company's president - Tatsuro Toyoda was the last president from the founder's clan.

Toyota yesterday said it expected an operating loss of JPY150bn (US$1.69bn) for the financial year to March 2009, the first loss since it started reporting annual earnings in March 1941, versus 2.27 trillion yen in operating profit a year ago.

Toyota said it still expected net profit of JPY50bn, sharply down from the previously estimated JPY550bn.