Toyota's IT reorganization reflects the growing importance of new technologies (Photo: Toyota)

Toyota Motor, recognizing the growing role of information technology in all of its business areas, will merge three IT subsidiaries into one new company, Toyota Systems Co. The move will take effect January 1, 2019.

The Japanese carmaker said the reorganization is designed to make IT function seamlessly across all of its operations.

"The role of IT is becoming increasingly important as the automotive industry faces a once-in-a-century transformational period of sweeping changes," Toyota said in a press release. It is important to strengthen collaboration across the group through IT, it added.

Another aim is to promote innovative work processes across the company and make sure that IT services developed in one area can be deployed throughout the group.

"This merger aims to consolidate the specialized skills that the three companies have built up to seamlessly combine applications, infrastructure, and networks into complete IT solutions that integrate all aspects of service provision," Toyota said. The integratoin should go "from the planning and proposal phase to the service development, introduction, and operation phases," it added.

Automakers realize that many of their divisions have, in recent years, built up IT skills that could be put to use company-wide. In most automotive companies, CIOs are working to define the growing role their departments have to play in an auto-industry transformation that is affecting companies, products and processes.

The three Toyota units that will be merged are:

  • Toyota Communication Systems, which is active in system development, maintenance and the operation of systems
  • Toyota Digital Cruise, a unit that specializes in networking and electronic data interchange services
  • Toyota Caelum, which develops, maintains and operates CAD sales and design support systems.
The new company will employ around 2,500 staff, slightly more than the combined staff totals of the three individual units at the start of this year.

-By Arjen Bongard