[In the words of Akio] #13: "Japan's Crown"


Akio Toyoda has special feelings for the Crown, Toyota's Japanese flagship model, with a core sense best expressed, in a word, as "Japan."

In December 2012, Akio Toyoda took the stage to unveil Toyota’s 14th-generation Crown. In his speech, Akio talked with sincerity and passion about the role the Japanese flagship car had played.

“Even as times have changed, it seems like the Crown has been there to carry the country through. I’m proud that we’ve been able to show the world what Japan’s Crown is all about.”

At the time, Japan’s manufacturing industry was struggling through a number of difficulties, not least the soaring electricity prices and super-strong yen. On top of this, young people had long been turning away from cars, and the country’s automobile market was steadily shrinking. Preserving Japanese manufacturing was a pressing issue, and Akio was often heard vowing to retain Toyota’s annual domestic production of three million vehicles at all costs.

With this in mind, he went on to share his determination in the new Crown, a solely domestic model most susceptible to the Japanese market issues.

“Can we reawaken a domestic market and customer base currently at a standstill? The battle that lies in store for the new Crown is not about beating competitors—it is a fight to revive the Japanese market and keep Japanese manufacturing alive.”

In July 2022, the 16th-generation Crown made its world premiere in Japan, unlike other core models that increasingly see unveilings in overseas markets. Akio shared his thoughts on the Crown and the successive chief engineers who have woven the flagship’s 67-year history. In doing so, he again repeated those words.

“This flagship has represented Japanese success and pride, bringing together Japan’s world-class technology and skilled workforce. The new Crown is full of these underlying strengths. That is why, with this series, we will once again take on the world. The new Crown will be available in approximately 40 countries and regions, with an expected annual sales volume of some 200,000 units. I would be more than happy if we could help restore vitality to Japan by making the Crown a Japanese car loved round the world. I sincerely want the world to know what Japan’s Crown is all about.”

A decade on from the 14th generation, the car tasked with reviving the Japanese market is now in its 16th series and ready to take on the world. Even as the Crown moves with the times, one thing has remained unchanged—it continues to carry the country through changing times.

Akio’s actions have been driven by a desire to restore vitality to Japan and the world. And yet, in presenting the new model himself, he says, “I came to realize how much I love the Crown.”