Tokyo Motor Show Press Briefing: Draft Speech by President Akio Toyota
What did you think of the future of mobility envisioned by Toyota?
I do not believe that the debate concerning future motor vehicles will be a choice between electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid vehicles.
What is necessary is the decision by consumers, but it is unlikely that there will only be one choice.
I believe that various types of vehicles will be used for different applications through maximizing the advantages of their individual strengths.
Personally, I love the smell of gasoline and the sound of an engine, so I hope that this type of vehicle never disappears.
I hope that motor vehicles will continue to provide dreams and inspiration to people for all eras. I believe that if it is not fun, it is not a car.
There are many different ways of traveling from A to B.
The difference between cars and other forms of mobility is that cars offer freedom to drivers.
You can determine your own route--whether you want to take a side trip or stop for a break right there.
To put it another way, cars must have an emotional presence that inspires drivers to enjoy their freedom.
When you are thinking about buying a new car or replacing an existing vehicle, you experience anticipation, and when you grip the steering wheel in your hands and drive, you feel excitement.
I truly believe that no matter how advanced cars become, it is important to retain this feeling.
Toyota adopted the catchphrase "Fun to drive" in the mid-1980s.
Today it is said that young people have little interest in cars as there are much more interesting things, and as an automobile maker, I find this quite frustrating.
It is for this reason that we are committed to making cars that will evoke this feeling of "Fun to drive, again" in as many people as possible.
This is Toyota's declaration.
As you are aware, the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 this year caused Japan to fall to new depths of despair.
There are still many people in the affected regions living each day with no hope for the future.
In addition, just as Japan was recovering from the earthquake, devastating floods occurred in Thailand, causing extensive damage.
I recently traveled to the flooded site, and despite uncertainty over the possibility of more flooding,
I was greatly encouraged to see the Thai people maintaining a positive attitude.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and the flooding in Thailand, I have continually been asking myself what we at Toyota can do.
I concluded that the answer is to build a new future through automobile manufacturing in collaboration with local residents.
Toyota has no intention of withdrawing from the Tohoku region or from Thailand.
On the contrary, we hope to become a driving force behind restoration and recovery by working together with the local people.
I believe this is possible because Toyota has confidence and pride in the on-site capabilities, human resources, and technological capabilities it has developed through automobile manufacturing in Japan, Thailand, and numerous other places around the world.
In Japan, the anime character Doraemon will appear in our new corporate advertising campaign.
Doraemon uses fantastic futuristic gadgets to rescue his friends whenever they are in trouble, and I believe that the real Doraemon is present at our manufacturing sites.
No matter how challenging the manufacturing environment becomes, and no matter how many obstacles we have to overcome, we will maintain our belief in the power of manufacturing and steadily more forward, one step at a time, toward realizing a society based on our vision for future mobility.
Our slogans are "FUN TO DRIVE, AGAIN." and "Never give up". I ask for your continued support.