Toyota Shareholders Vote Down Climate Resolution, Back Board

Reuters file photo
Toyota logo is seen at a Toyota Society Motors showroom in Karachi, Pakistan, July 27, 2022.

TOYOTA, Japan, June 14 (Reuters) – Shareholders of Japan’s Toyota voted down an unprecedented resolution on the automaker’s climate lobbying and backed its board at an annual general (AGM) meeting on Wednesday, in an endorsement of its strategy.

The rejection by shareholders of the resolution on climate lobbying – which was put forward by a trio of European asset managers – was widely expected, given the strength of management support among Japan’s individual investors, and the number of Toyota group companies and suppliers in its shareholder base.

Shareholders also voted in favor of all 10 members of the board. That vote, and particularly support for Chairman Akio Toyoda, has been in focus after some big U.S. pension funds said they would not vote for Toyoda, citing concerns about board independence.

A breakdown of the voting was not yet released.

The shareholder meeting came a day after the world’s biggest automaker announced an ambitious roadmap for electric vehicles (EV).

That plan, which included details on solid-state batteries and sweeping changes to production, sent the strongest signal so far that Toyota wants to take a bigger share of the market for battery EVs.

The Japanese giant has become a target in recent years for activists and green investors who said it has been slow to roll out EVs. Toyota is taking a multi-pathway approach toward carbon neutrality that includes petrol-electric hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells, along with EVs.

It has said its approach is more effective for reducing carbon emissions and more practical as customer needs, EV infrastructure and clean energy supplies differ by country.