Sep. 03, 2014

Toyota Launches Employee Driving Project in Australia

Grueling Long-distance Challenges to Train Personnel,
Encourage Sustainable Growth and Hone Car-making Intuition


Toyota City, Japan, September 3, 2014―To inspire plans for future models and provide valuable training opportunities, Toyota Motor Corporation today began a project in which Toyota employees put themselves and vehicles to the test over vast distances in Australia, a country with a famously wide variety of roads. Many consider Australia to be the birthplace of Toyota motorsports: in 1957, a Toyota Crown completed the Round Australia Rally. For this year's project, more than 30 Toyota employees, including those of Toyota's Australian subsidiary Toyota Motor Corporation Australia, will take on the country's rough terrain in Toyota Land Cruisers and other models for over 10 weeks until mid-November.

Commenting on the start of the project, Toyota President Akio Toyoda remarked: "Driving on Australia's wide variety of roads will bring our employees face-to-face with many problems and challenges. As they get to know the cars and the roads, they will learn to come up with solutions by themselves. I hope this will allow them to hone their car-making intuition."

Toyota aims to be a company that grows sustainably, just as a tree steadily gains one growth ring per year. For that, it needs to make ever-better cars and to train the people needed for making ever-better cars.

For example, since 2007, Toyota has been competing in Germany's Nürburgring 24 Hours Endurance Race with technical teams consisting solely of Toyota employees. Nürburgring is the world's most demanding race course, and places extreme burdens on people and equipment, demanding extreme concentration and sharp judgment. The value of the experience and know-how gained through this race is invaluable to the development of Toyota personnel.

The project that began today aims to give Toyota employees who are unable to participate in motorsports an opportunity to hone their skills and get the most out of their cars by letting them experience the stark realities of harsh, long-distance driving.

Those participating in the distance drives in Australia will report on their experiences to other Toyota employees around the world. Sharing these experiences will deepen the passion for automobiles of Toyota employees everywhere, all in support of Toyota's aim to become a company whose car-loving employees create ever-better cars.

Overview of Employee Distance Driving Project in Australia

Duration Roughly 10 weeks, starting September 3
Route Full circuit of Australia, starting and ending in vicinity of Melbourne
Models Land Cruiser, Hilux, 86, Prius, Camry, Corolla (roughly 7-8 vehicles in total)
Participants Over 30, including technicians and engineers based in Japan (mainly from TMC's Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Field) and employees from Toyota's Australian subsidiary Toyota Motor Corporation Australia