Toyota’s new chief executive has warned of “a sense of crisis” surrounding its business in China, pledging to boost local supply chains for electric vehicles as technological and geopolitical challenges intensify, reports the Financial Times. In a group interview on Friday, Koji Sato, who took the helm of Toyota earlier this month, pledged “bold” efforts to push for further localisation as the Japanese group tried to keep pace with a rapid technological shift in the world’s largest car market. “I do feel an underlying sense of crisis that we need to accelerate our efforts to do business in this market,” he said.
In recent months, Japanese carmakers have posted the sharpest sales declines in China among foreign brands owing to the slow rollout of battery-powered vehicles. Toyota’s own 2022 vehicle sales in China fell for the first time in a decade.
Toyota unveiled two models from its electric bZ series at last week’s Shanghai motor show. But Sato said the event underscored the scale of the advances China has made in electric vehicles as well as autonomous driving technology.