TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp., battling a 26 percent plunge in worldwide sales this year, said its new president will lead a subsidiary to coordinate marketing and advertising around the globe while vehicles are tailored to local markets.
The yet-to-be-named company will start operation Jan. 1, the automaker said today. It will be headed by Akio Toyoda, who took over as president last month, and Hiroshi Takada a recent Toyota retiree.
The move makes the Japanese automakers marketing and advertising operation a free-standing entity empowered to make quicker decisions, Toyota spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said.
It will handle advertising, sales promotion and global marketing strategy, she said. It will focus on marketing issues globally and help create a unified message.
Toyoda took office last month, pledging to improve the fit of the Toyota line to different markets. He also wanted to push decision making closer to the front linesas the automaker attempts to restore profit. Toyota posted its first operating loss in seven decades in its last fiscal year and has forecast a steeper loss this year.
Takada, co-president of the new marketing company, retired during the June boardroom overhaul as senior managing director in charge of global planning. His marketing experience dates back to 1995-2001, when he was general manager of domestic marketing and advertising.
Toyotas first-half vehicle sales fell 26 percent from a year earlier, to 3.56 million, according to media reports today. Thats about 10,000 more than No. 2 General Motors.
Toyotas U.S. sales dropped 37.9 percent in a market thats down 35.1 percent.