I would like to talk about the significance of this partnership by our three companies.
I have long been having discussions with President Shimo of Hino about strengthening collaboration within the Toyota Group.
In our same corporate group, we have Daihatsu, with whom we have in common passenger cars. So, it was easy to create synergistic effects with Daihatsu in car-making.
On the other hand, commercial vehicles are a go-it-alone business of Hino, making it difficult to find a connection with Toyota’s car-making, which is centered on passenger cars.
However, the situation has drastically changed due to the CASE revolution.
In particular, it is difficult to popularize electrified vehicles unless they are promoted together with infrastructure. The introduction of the first-generation Mirai fuel cell vehicle made me realize this.
I think that is a good example of knowing after having tried.
Instead of thinking from a manufacturer’s perspective of, “We should make this kind of car,” we came to think about things from a user’s perspective of, “What should we do so that people will use CASE technology?” This led me to see a clear direction for partnership with Hino.
What we are now being called upon to do is refine CASE technologies and disseminate them.
To achieve that, I arrived at the notion that it is important to implement such technologies through commercial vehicles in unison with infrastructure.
And there was one more thing. Viewed from a user’s perspective, shippers use both Hino and Isuzu trucks.
If Hino and Isuzu work together, we would be able to face 80 percent of Japan’s commercial vehicle customers and come to know their reality.
And if we used Toyota’s CASE technologies, we may be able to solve many of those customers’ difficulties.
Thinking so, I consulted President Katayama of Isuzu.
To build an ever-better mobility society, it is becoming more important not to only compete but to also cooperate.
This partnership could not be realized even if any one of our three companies were missing.
By utilizing the strengths of our three companies, I think we can help many of our transportation colleagues on site.
This desire to help will also be linked to our hopes for the reconstruction of Tohoku.
Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, I have visited Tohoku every year in March.
That’s because I have thought all along that what I can do is never forget about the disaster.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the earthquake disaster, so I was wondering which site I should visit. As I was thinking about it, I was given an opportunity to visit the town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture, which is advancing initiatives for the future.
On-site, I was able to talk with Fukushima Governor Uchibori and Namie Mayor Yoshida about their thoughts on reconstruction.
One project has advanced since then.
Isuzu and Hino fuel cell trucks are carrying goods using green hydrogen produced in the town of Namie.
And we will contribute to the realization of uniform, waste-free delivery by linking “make”, “transport”, and “use,” using connected technology.
Together with everyone in Fukushima, we will make the work of “transport” easier for people and propose new lifestyles to people on the “use” end.
We are now living in an uncharted era in which we can’t foresee the right direction.
In such an environment, you first have to try. From there you can see what’s waiting next and try again. Toyota has survived so far by doing so again and again.
This time, engaging more in the transportation front line, our three companies will work together and try it first.
We have just now stood at the starting point.
Please look forward to the efforts of our three companies as we attempt to get moving from a user’s perspective, centered on where the action is taking place.