Jan. 13, 2023
Press Conference: President Toyoda's and Chief Branding Officer Sato's Speech at TOKYO AUTO SALON 2023
Good morning. I am Akio Toyoda. First, I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year. At the beginning of this year, there were two articles in the news with my name on them.
One was, "Toyota President, Absent from New Year's Reception".
I'm sorry if I caused any concern. Being able to give the New Year's greetings here today I finally feel like it's the New Year.
The other article was this. With a strong title, I believe many people read it. I also received many sympathetic comments. However, some saw it as a sign that Toyota was moving outside Japan... Please don't worry. I am not announcing about transferring head office outside Japan.
However, it is true that I felt strongly about something when I went overseas last year.
It was the appreciation given to the automotive industry. This is where there was a big difference between Japan and overseas.
There is a great appreciation overseas for the contributions to regional growth made by the automotive industry. The happiest thing for me is to be asked for continued support...
However, I was never able to feel this way in Japan.
The article reads "...starting to give up on Japan..." But I believe that 2023 is the year Japan will have a chance to share the thoughts of car lovers with the rest of the world.
And the message is...!
"There is a carbon neutral path we can take as car lovers!"
"We don't want to leave any car lovers behind!"
This messaging begins with Auto Salon and continue on to the "G7."
This AE 86 Trueno and Levin... These are symbols of this belief.
This Trueno has a hydrogen engine vehicle. However, this is not the engine from the Super Taikyu GR Corolla. We converted the original 4AG into a hydrogen engine.
The Levin on the other hand, is a battery EV. The name has been around for half a century, but the two letters "EV" have always been hidden within its name.
So, it took 50 years for us to finally install a battery and motor to LEVIN. The original 4AG is a treasure so we removed it with the greatest care.
However, the manual transmission is untouched. Clutch and shifting operation can still be enjoyed.
The challenge is:
To continue to drive our beloved cars
Even in an age of carbon neutrality!
Over there is the ST165 Celica that our WRC team Principal Latvala won with the Historic Rally last year. This AE 86 was the master that taught professional driver Masahiro Sasaki, and was restored so that he could always return to his roots...
Besides these two, I have many friends who continue to take good care of their cars.
Everyone loves cars. However, none of them believe the earth is not their problem.
What can they individually do to help achieve carbon neutrality? They are seriously thinking about this.
In talking with these car lovers, I realized that "There is a carbon-neutral world that lies beyond conversion," like this 86.
Many automakers are targeting a shift to battery EVs by around 2030-40.
However, the reality is that we cannot achieve zero carbon emissions in 2050 simply by switching all new cars sales to EVs.
Units in operation...In other words...
It is important to provide options for beloved cars that are already owned by someone.
There are lots of people here at Auto Salon who wants to enjoy their car life with their favorite cars. Although the AE 86 conversion technology is still under development...By talking about this today with car lovers...
I hope to dismiss the fear that we won't be able to drive our beloved cars when we go carbon neutral. On the contrary, there is a carbon neutral path that car lovers can take.
If we can get excited for the future perhaps we can send a big message to the world this year!
This is very exciting for Morizo! My fellow car lovers! Each and every one of you are the Chief Engineers moving towards Carbon Neutrality!
Let's build the future together! Thank you.
Recently on Facebook, there is a gentleman who keeps up posting about AE 86 that he has just acquired. I'd like to hand it over to this gentleman from here. I'd like to introduce the President of GR company, (Koji) Sato.
Thank you Morizo! Once again, my name is Sato, President of GR Company.
The foundation of GR is based on making ever-better motorsports-bred cars.
Without further ado, I would like to introduce our special models based on our experience in the WRC!
Please take a look at this video.
At last year's Rally Japan, Morizo declared he would make a new GR Yaris. This is the GR Yaris RZ "High-performance・Sébastien Ogier Edition Concept" and GR Yaris RZ "High-performance・Kalle Rovanperä Edition Concept" What do you think?
To commemorate their driver's title win, we incorporated their preferences and ideas, and created the cars together.
We hope customers who purchase this model will become our partners in competing in the WRC. Specifically, we are considering placing some proof on the WRC race car and offering other special experiences.
Now, here are some of the highlights of this year's Auto Salon! First, let's begin with Lexus.
This is the RZ Sport Concept. It is a model that allows you to truly enjoy the unique driving experience of a battery EV.
At the Tokyo Outdoor Show, we are exhibiting the ideal models for outdoor lifestyle based on the Lexus RX, Hydrogen Buggy, and North American GX. We also have an outdoor model of the new Crown, so please be sure to take a look!
Now, talking about GR, we have further enhanced the GR Heritage Parts lineup.
We would like to listen to our customer requests for future restoration parts development, so we look forward to your feedback!
In addition, there will be various talk shows on this stage with racing drivers and car lovers. We will also have a demo run of the GR Yaris Rally2 Concept!
We will also be taking up a new challenge to utilize the Metaverse so that visitors who cannot come to the venue can also enjoy the event. We hope you visit this virtual space as well.
In closing, I would like to report on our initiatives with ROOKIE Racing. Last year, development of hydrogen engine vehicles made steady progress in terms of power output, torque, and cruising range. Our efforts to add partners who "produce," "transport," and "use" hydrogen spread worldwide.
The demonstration run at Rally Belgium, Then, we successfully completed the 25-hour endurance race in Thailand.
Led by Morizo, we at Toyota, love cars just as much as you do, and want to preserve and protect the fun and joy of cars for the future. In order to achieve this, we will dedicate ourselves to the cause with purposeful passion and action.
Thank you very much for your time.
Toyota Motor Corporation works to develop and manufacture innovative, safe and high-quality products and services that create happiness by providing mobility for all. We believe that true achievement comes from supporting our customers, partners, employees, and the communities in which we operate. Since our founding over 80 years ago in 1937, we have applied our Guiding Principles in pursuit of a safer, greener and more inclusive society. Today, as we transform into a mobility company developing connected, automated, shared and electrified technologies, we also remain true to our Guiding Principles and many of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals to help realize an ever-better world, where everyone is free to move.
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