Toyota Motor has appointed its president to head the newly formed electric car division, a move that reinforces its recent commitment to develop a technology its has been slow to embrace.

Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder Kiichiro Toyoda, has been at the helm of the world's largest automaker since 2009 and will head the company's electric vehicle (EV) planning department along with executive vice presidents Mitsuhisa Kato and Shigeki Terashi, Reuters reported.

"By putting the president and vice presidents in charge of the department, we plan to speed up development of electric cars," Toyota spokeswoman Kayo Doi told the news agency.

"The president will directly oversee the department's operations to enable decisions to be made quickly and nimbly."

According to Reuters, the department comprises a new in-house unit to plan Toyota's strategy to develop and market electric cars as part of the company's efforts to keep pace with the tightening global emissions regulations.

Toyota is also shifting the chief engineer of its Prius petrol-hybrid to its EV efforts, appointing Koji Toyoshima to head the division's engineering team. Toyoshima will also join the four-member EV strategy unit, which will include representatives from group suppliers Denso, Aisin Seiki and Toyota Industries Corporation.

Toyota said until recently it favoured EVs for short-distance commuting given their limited driving range and lengthy charging time. It has been investing heavily in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs), which the company considers as the ultimate green car, Reuters noted.

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Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) on 1 December to make changes to executives' areas of responsibility, as well as personnel changes at the sub-executive managerial level.

Changes to executives' areas of responsibility (effective December 1, 2016)

Akio Toyoda: new post - president, EV Business Planning Dept.(chief officer)

Mitsuhisa Kato: current post - executive vice president, Frontier Research Centre(chief officer); new post - executive vice president, Frontier Research Centre(chief officer), EV Business Planning Dept.(chief officer)

Shigeki Terashi: current post - executive vice president, Strategic Top Executive Meeting Office(secretary general), Corporate Strategy Div.(chief officer), Research Div.(chief officer); new post - executive vice president, Strategic Top Executive Meeting Office(secretary general), EV Business Planning Dept.(chief officer), Corporate Strategy Div.(chief officer), Research Div.(chief officer)

Koki Konishi: current post - managing officer, Mid-size Vehicle Company(executive vice president); new post - managing officer, General Administration & Human Resources Group

Changes to executive general managers' areas of responsibility (effective November 1, 2016)

Shinichi Yasui: current post - Mid-size Vehicle Company, ZS (chief officer),ZV (chief officer), ZD (chief officer),ZE (chief officer), ZF (chief officer); new post - Mid-size Vehicle Company, ZS (chief officer),ZV (chief officer), ZD (chief officer),ZE (chief officer), ZF (chief officer,concurrent chief engineer)

Personnel changes at the sub-executive managerial level

(effective November 1, 2016)

Kouji Toyoshima: current post - MSZ, Mid-size Vehicle Company(chief engineer); new post - MSZ, Mid-size Vehicle Company(chief engineer), EV Business Planning Dept.(preliminary organisation)(general manager)

(effective November 14, 2016)

Kenichi Komuro: current post - Temporary External Transfer from Aisin Seiki; new post - EV Business Planning Dept.(preliminary organisation)(project general manager)

(effective December 1, 2016)

Kouji Toyoshima: current post - MSZ,Mid-size Vehicle Company(chief engineer), EV Business Planning Dept.(preliminary organisation)(general manager); new post - EV Business Planning Dept., (general manager,concurrent chief engineer)

Kenichi Komuro: current post - EV Business Planning Dept.(preliminary organisation)(project general manager); new post - EV Business Planning Dept.(project general manager)

Original source: Toyota media

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