Daihatsu safety scandal – President, chairman resign; to be replaced by current Toyota chiefs from March 1


In light of the Daihatsu safety scandal that has been uncovered and rectification order issued by Japan‘s ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism (MLIT), Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd has announced its new leadership structure which will take effect from March 1, 2024.

Through the joint statement issued by Daihatsu and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), the compact vehicle brand has announced that its current chairman, Sunao Matsubayashi and its current president, Soichiro Okudaira will no longer continue in their current posts.

Daihatsu will be led by new president Masahiro Inoue who is currently CEO of TMC Latin America and the Carribean region, and will be joined by executive vice president Masanori Kuwata, who is currently chief project leader for Lexus electrification promotion and executive VP of Toyota Motor Kyushu.

Also resigning from their current director roles, though retaining their operating officer positions are chief officer of the sales and customer service group Yusuke Takeda, and chief officer of the corporate management group Toshinori Edamoto. Non-resident director Masahiro Yamamoto will replaced by current deputy chief officer at Toyota Customer First Promotion Keiko Yanagi.

Daihatsu safety scandal – President, chairman resign; to be replaced by current Toyota chiefs from March 1

In the joint statement, Daihatsu Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation stated that Daihatsu “must return to its roots as a mobility company centered on compact vehicles” in order to reform and revitalise the brand. The companies believe that “the root of the certification irregularities was that Daihatsu placed a burden on its workplaces that exceeded their capacities.”

“To rebuild Daihatsu, we believe that management must go to the front lines, carefully listen to the opinions of the people there, and create a system that enables management to restore sovereignty to the workplace. Based on this, we considered what to do and made decisions from the perspective of putting the right person in the right place,” the statement read.

The companies also offered their deepest apologies to its customers, suppliers, dealers, the communities where their plants are located, and its stakeholders for the safety test scandal.

The safety testing scandal resulted in Daihatsu halting production at all its plants in Japan until the end of January, and that halt was extended to the middle of February. Shipment of models resumed at the end of January with clearance from the Japan MLIT, with primary production to resume from March, while vehicle type approvals (VTAs) were revoked, for the Daihatsu Gran Max, Toyota TownAce and Mazda Bongo.

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