TOKYO -- Japan's auto industry association has tapped an unlikely -- but increasingly well-suited -- CEO to be its next chairman as the country's beleaguered carmakers battle falling sales at home and the hollowing out of their factories.
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp. and grandson of the company's founder, is scheduled to take over in May as the head of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, the industry's top lobbying group.
His appointment is to be approved at a May 17 board meeting, JAMA says.
Japan's automakers take turns sending executives to head up the organization, and Toyoda will relieve Nissan COO Toshiyuki Shiga who has held the post since 2010.
Insiders said there was some debate within Toyota about whether the company would offer up their president or perhaps send another high ranking executive.