Thank you for today, and for your really great remarks. Since I am restricted to only one question, I would like to ask about the attention that cars are getting for their private space that sets them apart from public transportation. Maybe what people are looking for in cars will change, or they may be seen in a new light?
Saying that as a lead-in, if interest actually increases in cars because of that, sales of cars online or other such means are already in the spotlight. In those circumstances, I think there may be a need for additional tools because people will be interested in alternative means besides filling out paperwork and using telephones. What thoughts does Toyota have about that?
For example, if the cars are used for commercial purposes, that might be fine, but if it is a GR or Lexus, people might be hesitant to purchase because there may not be enough ingredients to entice them. Whether to buy or to seek after it, when you think about how to move people’s hearts for purchase, do you have any ideas on your mind about sales in the future? Or, do you have any thoughts about what needs to change for the future or not change?
Thank you very much for your question. After I make my comment, I would like to have Mr. Terashi (Operating Officer) who is attending here with me today, answer from a technical perspective.
First of all, as we are experiencing during this COVID-19 crisis, I believe we will be moving more rapidly toward a society that has less physical contact. However, even though it is less physical contact, that doesn’t mean that all cars will become automated or autonomous vehicles. People will still want cars that they can enjoy more and live more fully, in other words, Fun to Drive-type cars, cars that make people wonder if someone is driving even if the system is automated. There will be good and not so good drivers still, so I would like to aim for automated driving.
I think that we’ll see a heightening of personal mobility needs, so I think that what I said a couple of years ago about Toyota changing from an automobile company to a mobility company is much closer to becoming a reality.
At the beginning of this year I announced “Woven City” which is a living laboratory where people will be placed at the center. I’d like to stop and take a look at the word “MOVE”. It is about moving people from place A to place B, but “MOVE” can also be about moving people’s hearts. So what does it mean for a person to be “moved” by “moving?” That is what I want to build cars for, I think.
As for the sales side, at the same time we have just started our initiative to sell all models in all dealer channels in Japan. This means that no matter which Toyota dealer you visit you will be able to purchase any of the models in our line-up. Also, we are offering “KINTO”, a fixed-cost subscription service, as we look to prepare various options for customers to be able to choose from.
Among the options, for models like GR and Lexus, I think there is a story here that needs to be told. Maybe a story about the joy of these cars, more than a product story, something beyond the actual specifications of the vehicles so that everyone can share the joy and happiness of owning such a vehicle. With that I’d like to have Mr. Terashi, sitting next to me here, add some comments.
Please allow me to make some additional remarks. As President Toyoda just mentioned, in this crisis we have all felt and experienced what it means to stop moving.
Especially, we have learned that there are limitations as to what you can do in the virtual world, and just how much the real world enriches our lives – this is something that I think everyone is experiencing. Thinking from this perspective, I think that people will start considering various ways to use, diversity and carry things, leading to an increased variety of products that will be wanted by society.
However, one of the directions we are moving in is CASE. Using these new types of technologies to enrich people’s lives – these technologies are sure to advance even further in the future.
As a reference, it has now been one year since we announced that we would provide our hybrid patents free of charge. It turns out that hybrids are still something that people want to have, and, as of now, we are signing contracts for the years 2024 and 2025 to provide an annual volume of about 500,000 hybrid electric vehicles.
Thinking about these numbers, we understand what kind of difficulty or struggle people are having related to technology. We would like to work with one or even more partners to help resolve these issues. I look forward to continued discussions – thank you.