Toyota has reshuffled its top management as part of an ongoing drive to improve its organisational agility in the face of big challenges facing the auto industry.

Included in the changes is the appointment of Koji Kobayashi, vice chairman and board member of Denso, to the role of CFO from January.

Toyota said the changes aim to transform the company structure into one that makes possible decision-making 'close to customers and close to where the action takes place'.

"The automotive industry has entered an era of profound transformation, the likes of which come only once every 100 years," said TMC President Akio Toyoda. "Over the next 100 years, there is no guarantee that automobile manufacturers will continue to play leading roles in mobility. A crucial battle has begun - not one about winning or losing, but one about surviving or dying. We will pursue alliances with other companies and other industries. But, before that, it is essential that we concentrate the capabilities of the Toyota Group.

"Our coming structural change reflects our will that the Toyota Group will tackle this era of profound transformation. This change includes the appointment of people with high levels of expertise, regardless of time with the company or age and from the perspective of having the right people in the right places.

"This is an era in which the correct answers are unknown. Knowing that the customer comes first, we need to have people who understand the workplace well enough to lead with quick judgment, quick decisions and quick action through genchi genbutsu (on-site learning and problem-solving) as they see fit in response to all kinds of situations. To create forms of mobility to which people can feel intimately connected, and to be able to provide the freedom and joy of mobility to all people, everyone working for Toyota will unite in spirit and continuously take up new challenges," he added.

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