Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> plans to announce a major overhaul of its U.S. operations, bringing sales, manufacturing and engineering under one powerful executive, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Yoshi Inaba, a former senior executive who left Toyota in 2007, was asked by the automaker this week to oversee most of the key aspects of the U.S. business, the newspaper reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The announcement of the overhaul, to be made in Japan, could come as early as Friday, it said.
Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman in the United States, confirmed that Inaba has been appointed to work for the automaker's U.S. operations.
Michels said he had no information about what position Inaba would assume, and declined to comment on any organizational changes.
The Journal said Inaba is expected to be named president of Toyota Motor North America and will be based in New York.
Toyota is struggling to turn around its U.S. business, which has long generated some of the company's biggest profits but has seen sales plunge amid the global economic downturn.
With the appointment of Inaba, credited with laying the groundwork for Toyota's fast growth in the United States over the past several years, Toyota is expected to bring him back to the company's board, the Journal reported.
As part of the reorganization, Toyota is expected to have its New York unit, Toyota Motor North America Inc, function as its full-fledged U.S. headquarters, bringing together responsibility for engineering, manufacturing and sales, the Journal said.
Inaba is also expected to succeed Yuki Funo as chairman of Toyota's U.S. sales and marketing arm in Torrance, California, the newspaper said.
(Reporting by Soyoung Kim; editing by John Wallace)