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Toyota to Unveil Executive Changes as Coompetition Grows

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, will announce management changes today at a press conference attended by President Akio Toyoda amid rising global competition.

The briefing will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Tokyo, the company said in an e-mailed statement. Executive Vice President Atsushi Niimi will leave his role overseeing North America and China in the reshuffle, the Nikkan Kogyo newspaper reported today, without saying where it got the information.

Toyota, which regained the world’s-largest carmaker title in 2012, is making the changes as competition intensifies in the U.S. and it faces a consumer backlash in China over a territorial dispute with Japan. A weakening yen has helped drive its stock about 21 percent higher this year, outperforming the 15 percent advance in the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.

Toyota Senior Managing Officers Yasumori Ihara and Seiichi Sudo will be promoted, according to the Nikkan Kogyo report.

Toyota is making the changes as part of an initiative by Toyoda to speed decision making and free executive vice presidents to concentrate on strategic thinking, leaving daily decisions to more junior managers, Reuters reported yesterday, citing a person familiar with the plan.

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