Toyota Motor Corp., in the midst of sweeping organizational changes initiated by its new president Akio Toyoda, said it is creating two new companies to manage marketing efforts for the automaker in Japan and worldwide, respectively.
One company will steer marketing in Japan and the other will "carry out and assist global marketing as well as coordinate and assist the marketing activities of TMC affiliates." The entities have yet to be named. Each will begin operating on Jan. 1, according to the parent company. (Read Toyota's statement about forming the plan .)
The establishment of the new entities stems from a reorganization of a global marketing division that previously helped smaller distributors outside of major markets like North America, Europe and Asia, according to Mike Michels, vp, communications at Toyota Motor Sales USA, Toyota's U.S. subsidiary.
Michels stressed that the moves "will have virtually no effect whatsoever on the marketing practices of TMS (Toyota Motor Sales USA) and other Toyota overseas affiliates/subsidiaries. All decision-making and who does business with whom is still up to each subsidiary."
Representatives for parent company Toyota Motor Corp. in Tokyo could not immediately be reached for comment.
Dentsu, counts Toyota among its largest clients in Japan. Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi unit works for Toyota globally and counts the firm as its second biggest client in revenue terms after Procter & Gamble.
A Dentsu representative declined to comment on how the moves will impact the agency's Toyota business in Japan, but did say that they would have "no impact on our business in the U.S.," where Dentsu handles corporate image duties.
In the U.S., Saatchi's office in Torrance, Calif., handles national ad duties on the brand and agency subsidiary Team One in El Segundo, Calif., handles Toyota's Lexus brand. Saatchi also works on dealer advertising in many U.S. regions. Publicis Groupe's Zenith Optimedia handles Toyota's media business in the U.S., while the automaker is Denstu America's biggest client.
Saatchi declined comment and referred questions to Toyota.
Global media spending by Toyota, the world's largest automaker, could not immediately be determined. In the U.S., the company spends about $1.2 billion annually on ads, per Nielsen.
Earlier today, Toyota posted its third consecutive quarterly loss, with revenue slipping 38 percent, though it scaled back its loss estimates by 18 percent to a full-year loss of $4.7 billion. In May, Toyota posted its first annual lost in 59 years for fiscal year 2009, which ended March 31.
With the collapse in global auto markets, manufacturers have scrambled to cut costs amid plummeting demand. Last September, Hyundai Motor America shifted its advertising creative assignment from Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to World Marketing Group, a joint venture with sister Korean auto company Kia.
Toyoda, a grandson of the company's founder, took the helm at Toyota in June. He has moved swiftly to restructure the top management, retiring or reassigning 40 percent of those executives. Toyoda has replaced four of the firm's five most senior managers, leaving only the head of product development in place at the team formed by Toyoda's predecessor, Katsuaki Watanabe.
While the plight of the company's Detroit peers has received more attention, the extent of the drop-off in business for Toyota, maker of the popular Prius hybrid, has surprised industry observers. Toyoda, at his first press conference, said he was "extremely frustrated" by the company's decline and emphasized that the company "must start from the ground up." Yoshimi Inaba, newly named head of the company's North American operations, has said that without a turnaround here, Toyota is "not likely to come back to global proficiency."
This story updates an earlier item with Michels' statement.
Nielsen Business Media