Oct. 29, 2015

Toyota's Press Conference at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show


Toyota Motor Corporation today held a press conference at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show.

Click below to watch a video recording of the briefing.

President Toyoda's Speech at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show
(Speech as drafted:)

HI! I'm Akio Toyoda.

What wows you? What gets your pulse racing?
"Wow!" is our keyword at this year's Tokyo Motor Show.

Think back about 100 years. About 15 million horses were at work in America ferrying around people and goods. Then came the Ford Model T, and―apparently―within a span of about 20 years, almost all of those horses were replaced by cars.

Why did people choose cars over horses? There are probably a lot of reasons, but the one I find most compelling is that it was simply more fun to get around by car. Maybe, just the existence of cars back then made people go "Wow!"

Now, let's go back just about 80 years. Kiichiro Toyoda believed cars could be made in Japan using local know-how and skill, and he wanted to help make that happen. This desire led to the birth of the company now known as "Toyota".

But not only were we decades behind Europe and the U.S. in terms of technology, it's my understanding that we were on the verge of bankruptcy and really didn't even have the money.

But what Kiichiro and those who shared his passion did have was a desire to create and share prosperity by building a home-grown car. They wanted to use their own hands, skills and ideas to give customers here a big "Wow!" I think it was this desire and their passion that led to success.

Eighty years on, our customers can be found around the world. Our goal remains the same, however: providing "Wow!" to customers everywhere. This means bringing fun and excitement to all the communities in which you can find our cars. That, I believe, is Toyota's mission.

The cars you see on display today all have something in common. Each of them represents an effort―backed by our heartfelt desire to make ever-better cars―to give form to our concept of "Wow!"

And that also means taking on the challenge of transforming today's "pipe dreams" into tomorrow's household names.

Hybrids and fuel cell vehicles have both, at one point, been dismissed as oddities. Experience has taught us that, while ideas like these come from the fringes at first, they settle down and become the new norm.
And then, if we don't find a way to escape that comfort zone, we will never be able to open the road to the future.

In life, there are so many reasons for just saying "It can't be done" or "It's impossible" and giving up. But if you never try, you deny yourself the chance to know what you could have achieved. If you don't show the courage to step up to the plate, "Wow!" just won't happen.

Joining us here today is someone who has lived this lesson time and again; someone who truly understands the need to keep moving forward.

[Conversation with special guest]

Once we've stepped up to the plate, regardless of what happens, we have to take full responsibility without making excuses.
That's something Ichiro taught me.

We play on different fields, but I want for Toyota's car-making and corporate management to be like Ichiro.
This city has the honor of hosting the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020. But really, that means all of Japan has to step up to the plate. The responsibility doesn't stop with the athletes―it extends to the organizations, businesses and each and every citizen.
Together, let's "Wow!" the whole world.

Here's Toyota's promise, written in stone: we will keep making better cars, and we will make mobility more fun than ever.

"What wows you?" We'll keep trying to answer that question as best we can.

We have to put our doubts aside and step up to the plate. We all have challenges to face. Let's face them together!

Thank you.


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  • Toyota's Press Conference at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show
    Toyota's Press Conference at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show