The Toyota shareholders vote down the climate decision, the back board

TOYOTA CITY, Japan, June 1[ads1]4 (Reuters) – Toyota ( 7203.T ) shareholders voted down an unprecedented resolution on the carmaker’s climate lobbying and backed the board at an annual general meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, sending an endorsement of the Japanese automaker’s strategy.

The shareholder rejection of the resolution calling for greater disclosure of climate lobbying was brought forward by a trio of European asset managers and was expected to be defeated, given the strength of management support among individual investors and the number of Toyota group companies and suppliers in the automaker’s shareholder base.

The shareholders also voted for all 10 board members. That vote, and particularly the support for chairman Akio Toyoda, has been in the spotlight after some major US pension funds said they would not vote for Toyoda, citing concerns about the board’s independence.

An overview of the vote has not yet been published.

The shareholder meeting came a day after the world’s biggest automaker announced an ambitious electric vehicle (EV) roadmap, including details on solid-state batteries and sweeping changes to manufacturing, sending the strongest signal yet that Toyota wants to take a bigger share of the market for electric cars with batteries and lift the share price.

“Japanese people like Toyota and I think they support Akio,” said 61-year-old Tadashi Imai, an individual shareholder who said he has held shares in the company for about a decade.

“Toyota’s announcement yesterday of the deployment of solid-state batteries by 2027 sent shares up 5%. That’s really impressive, 5%.

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

It has said its approach is more effective in reducing carbon emissions and more practical as customer needs, EV infrastructure and clean energy supply vary from country to country.

Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by David Dolan and Christopher Cushing

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Daniel Leussink

Thomson Reuters

Daniel Leussink is a correspondent in Japan. Most recently, he has covered Japan’s auto industry, writing about how some of the world’s largest automakers are navigating a transition to electric vehicles and unprecedented supply chain disruptions. Since joining Reuters in 2018, Leussink has also covered Japan’s economy, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, COVID-19 and the Bank of Japan’s ultra-easy monetary policy experiment.

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