Report: Toyota Looking to Double Profit, Shake Up Board of Directors

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Toyota Motor Corporation recently revealed its plans to double operating profits by 2015, center future research and development for popular U.S. vehicles in North America, and aggressively expand in emerging markets. As part of the plan, the number of board members will be slashed from 27 to 11, pending approval from company shareholders.

Toyota Canada chief Ray Tanguay will become the company’s highest non-Japanese executive since the departure of Jim Press, who left the company in 2007 to join Chrysler. Tanguay, who was instrumental in forming the plan outlined today, moves into the newly created position of senior managing officer on April 1.

The large-scale plan, called the Toyota Global Vision, de-emphasizes numerical sales and production targets in exchange for increased focus on operational profits, as well as increased focus on emerging markets, such as China, Russia, India and Brazil. Among the specific goals outlined are to double operating profit to 1 trillion yen ($12.2 billion), boost annual global sales of Toyota and Lexus vehicles to 9 million from 7.53 million, and expand business in emerging markets to comprise half of global sales, up from 40 percent currently. China alone is targeted for 15 percent of global sales. The plan also calls for the centralization of popular U.S.-market vehicle development in North America.

“For the Camry and other vehicle series, we plan for North America to become a global center responsible for r&d and production as well as exports,” CEO Akio Toyoda told the press.

The Global Vision plan is the first mid-term business plan presented by Toyoda since he assumed the president position in 2009, amid slumping sales and safety recalls.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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