Toyota Times News, a newscast hosted by Yuta Tomikawa, has started. With President Akio Toyoda as its first guest, the program looks back at 2022 and covers key global topics, including a new carbon-neutral project in Thailand, the painful decision to end production in Russia, and the flood recovery efforts in South Africa.
The tough road to carbon neutrality
Looking back on a year of working toward carbon neutrality, Akio’s first comment was, “It’s been really tough going.
What I find unfortunate is that the media often thrives on conflict, setting BEVs against hybrids, for example. But the fact is that Toyota operates globally with a full lineup.
When it comes to carbon neutrality, Akio wants to ensure that “no one is left behind.” Make sure to watch the video to find out what lies behind this sentiment.
Thoughts on Hino
In December, Toyota announced the start of a carbon-neutral project in Thailand. Among the partners is Hino Motors, which was found to have engaged in misconduct last year. Having been expelled from the CJPT* that forms a core part of the Thai project, how did Hino find its way back to the partnership? On the program, Akio explained the context.
*Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies (CJPT): operating company formed by Isuzu, Suzuki, Daihatsu, and Toyota to accelerate societal implementation and dissemination of CASE technologies, address various challenges facing the transportation industry, and contribute to the creation of a carbon-neutral society. Hino had been involved since CJPT’s establishment in April 2021, but was expelled in August 2022 due to certification testing misconduct.
The fact that Hino engaged in misconduct which affected various stakeholders is still inexcusable. However, if they are given a chance in Thailand to be part of a project to create the future, I hope they will make the most of this opportunity and act for the good of global stakeholders.
The fact that Hino engaged in misconduct which affected various stakeholders is still inexcusable. However, if the Thai market gives Hino a chance to participate in creating the future, I hope they will make the most of this opportunity to act for the good of global stakeholders.
A Crown created by “getting carried away,” a Prius born out of disagreement
The past year saw the world premieres of the new Crown and the new Prius. Both are leading Toyota models, and both were born from the twists and turns of discussions between Akio and his engineers.
I was honestly surprised [to see the proposed Crown model change]. I never told them to make four different types. It seemed like [the engineers] had gotten carried away. (laughs)
So, the new Prius can be traced back to that interesting disagreement between you and the development team. Given your differing opinions, what led you to respect the developers' choice?
Put simply, the car was cool. I think it ended up a better car, and what made me happiest of all is that we are now able to have such conversations within the company.
From interesting disagreements to getting carried away, the pair’s conversation also took some unexpected turns.