Daihatsu's Next President-- Reform through Dialogue and Empathy


Toyota and Daihatsu held a press conference to announce Daihatsu's new leadership. We unpack the comments made at the event to find out how the incoming team plans to revitalize the company.

Incoming president leads through dialogue

On February 13, Toyota Motor and Daihatsu Motor held a joint press conference to announce a new leadership structure that will see Masahiro Inoue—who currently heads Toyota’s operations in Latin America and the Caribbean—take over as Daihatsu’s next president from March 1.

The current vice president, Hiromasa Hoshika, will be joined by Toyota Motor Kyushu Vice President Masanori Kuwata, who previously also led human resources at Toyota. Keiko Yanagi, Deputy Chief Officer of Toyota’s Customer First Promotion Group, was also appointed as a director.

Current Chairman Sunao Matsubayashi and President Soichiro Okudaira will resign from their posts.

Toyota President Koji Sato introduced incoming President Inoue, saying he “has for many years been working on structural reform of Toyota's Latin American business, including a renewed regional management system involving Brazil and Argentina. Despite the many difficult decisions he has had to make, he is a leader who has moved reforms forward through dialogue with frontline members. Utilizing this experience, he will lead the revitalization of Daihatsu as the person responsible for on-site management.”

Rebuilding in the wake of certification irregularities, Daihatsu will return to its roots as a “mobility company centered on compact vehicles.” To ensure it is not overburdened beyond its capacities, the company will focus operations on minivehicles and switch its overseas business to planning, development, and production outsourced from Toyota.

Daihatsu is also withdrawing from CJPT* to prioritize its efforts to prevent these issues' recurrence.
*Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies. Established by Toyota, Hino, and Isuzu in April 2021, with Suzuki and Daihatsu joining that July. The partnership aims to accelerate the rollout and adoption of CASE technologies, helping to solve the issues faced by the transportation industry and contributing to the creation of a carbon-neutral society.

At the joint press conference, President Sato and incoming President Inoue took the stage, emphasizing their commitment to preventing recurrence through the measures reported to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on February 9.

Among the recent problems, some have pointed to communication issues between Toyota and Daihatsu, as well as between Daihatsu’s management and genba. Resolving these issues will also be part of the new leadership’s mission.

The new team was put together with the idea of rebuilding the company from the ground up. How will they revitalize Daihatsu? We examine their plans by taking a closer look at the press conference Q&A session.