BY BUSINESS DAILY: Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is set to relinquish its sales and marketing operations in African countries including in Kenya to its affiliate Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC).

Toyota says the move is intended at increasing efficiency and competitiveness of its dealerships in the continent. The company said it does not anticipate Kenyan job losses from the move.

Toyota Tsusho is the distributor of TMC’s cars in various African countries including Kenya where it owns Toyota Kenya Limited.

“On June 1, 2018, the group and TMC entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding a transfer of TMC’s entire sales and marketing operations in the African market to the group by a tentative date of January 2019,” said TTC in a trading update. “The group and TMC have since been formulating an action plan to execute the transfer of operations.”

The Japanese automaker, which owns a 21.69 per cent stake in TTC, has a marketing office in Japan coordinating imports of vehicles in African countries from its subsidiary Toyota South Africa.

Dennis Awori, the chairman of Toyota Kenya, said the company would benefit from TTC’s direct placement of orders to the factories and its handling of logistics.
TMC said the operational restructuring is meant to sharpen Japanese firms’ focus amid an increasingly competitive business environment.

“In this urgent time, there is no room for intragroup competition; the future of the Toyota Group depends on enhancing its competitiveness as a united whole,” the Japanese vehicle manufacturer said in a statement.

The multinational says TTC is well placed to take over all its sales and marketing functions in Africa where it has decades of experience.

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TTC has operations in 53 African countries where it employs more than 10,000 people. Its presence in the continent got a big boost when it bought out French conglomerate CFAO Group in 2012.

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