As part of a lineage running from Honorary Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda to current Chairman Akio Toyoda, the new Century is a symbol of their ideals. What has it inherited, and how is it evolving to meet a new era?
This is a special edition of Toyota Times News focusing on the new Century, first shown to the world last September. We explore the development team's commitment, the daring of dealerships, and Chairman Toyoda's ideals.
"The Century is a special car."
Chairman Toyoda is speaking here of the Century, first made in 1967 to mark the 100th anniversary of founder Sakichi Toyoda's birth. Honorary Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda was involved in Century development through the third generation in 2018. As a car made for passengers as important as the Imperial Family, it has carried on a legacy of Japanese aesthetics built on a spirit of hospitality and expert skill.
And then, in 2023—the year of the honorary chairman's death—the fourth generation new Century was announced.
In December, the company held a celebration at the Tahara Plant in Tahara City, Aichi Prefecture, for the first car off the production line. Chairman Akio stood in front of staff and discussed what he learned at the side of Honorary Chairman Shoichiro, his lessons as a master passenger, and the ideals worked into the new model's development. Be sure to watch for yourself!
We also interviewed Yoshikazu Tanaka, who worked hand-in-hand with Chairman Akio in heading up development. He has some development stories to share about working with Akio and the evolution for a new age displayed in the car's major change in shape.
We're also introducing the dealer Meister system set up for sales of the new Century.
The system was established to promote original activities and a better understanding of the Century brand. We followed two staff who trained to clear the strict requirements to become Meisters.
The words of all who appear in this News edition, no matter how different their involvement in the new model, convey just how special a car the Century is.
Watch to the end to see the legend this new Century carries on and the new vision of the world it has created.