Toyota stock having best week since 2009 after annual meeting, new EV goals

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Akio Toyoda, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corp.
Yoshikazu Tsuno | Gamma-rapho | Getty Images

DETROIT – Toyota Motor’s stock is having its best week since 2009 following the company disclosing plans for its next-generation electric vehicles and shareholders voting in favor of its new leadership, including former CEO Akio Toyoda as chairman.

Shares of Toyota on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday achieved a new 52-week high of more than $168 per share, up 2% during intraday trading and roughly 13% this week.

If shares can retain their current momentum, it would be the stock’s best week since April 2009 when they increased 14.5%. It would also mark only the third double-digit weekly gain in more than two decades.

The notable increase in the relatively mundane stock follows additional details about the company’s EV strategy, which has previously been criticized by some for not being aggressive enough.

Ahead of its annual meeting Wednesday, Toyota outlined plans for a new generation of EVs to rival industry leaders Tesla and China-based BYD. The company said it plans to launch its next-generation EVs starting in 2026, including vehicles with highly touted “solid-state batteries” by 2027 or 2028.

Solid-state batteries can be lighter, with greater energy density and provide more range at a lower cost than today’s EVs with lithium-ion batteries.

People arrive to attend an annual shareholders’ meeting for Toyota Motor in the city of Toyota, Aichi Prefecture on June 14, 2023. Toyota is under pressure from large institutional investors for chairman Akio Toyoda to step down over his lukewarm embrace of electric vehicles.
Str | Afp | Getty Images

Takero Kato, president of BEV Factory, said that Toyota is targeting a driving range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) for its EVs. BEV Factory aims to produce about 1.7 million vehicles by 2030, he said.

“Proactive disclosure of a new tech strategy featuring next-gen batteries and giga casting delivered a riposte to the view that it is lagging in BEVs. We await quantitative disclosure on BEV profit ahead,” Morgan Stanley analyst Shinji Kakiuchi said Wednesday in an investor note.

Following the announcements, Toyota shareholders Wednesday aligned their voting with company recommendations, including leadership approval and voting down a shareholder proposal requiring Toyota to review its climate-related lobbying activities.

Shareholders also approved the company’s new leadership and board, including the appointment of CEO Koji Sato as a director and Toyoda – grandson of automaker’s founder – as chairman.

Shares of Toyota on the NYSE are up about 23% this year, as the auto industry continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and supply chain issues that led to record low vehicle inventory levels.

Toyota’s gains put it in the middle of Japanese automaker stocks, ahead or in-line with the Detroit automakers and behind shares of Tesla, which have more than doubled in 2023.

– CNBC’s Michael Bloom and Lim Hui Jie contributed to this report.

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