Visions Define Toyota's Path

released on February 2009

When Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) President Katsuaki Watanabe announced "Toyota Global Vision 2020" to worldwide Toyota associates in November 2007, it was a continuation of a series of Visions that began 12 years ago.

Throughout the '80s, Toyota never allowed itself to be blinded by the good times of the bubble economy, but instead it worked hard to maintain steady growth and make sure all of its business functions (sales, technology, manufacturing, procurement, human resources, logistics, etc.) kept the same pace. However, upon entering the '90s, the company was faced with tougher circumstances, such as the appreciation of the Japanese yen, a shrinking market and plateauing exports. This led TMC's top management to decide that Toyota needed to clearly define its path for the next 10 years and share this vision with all of its global associates.

After numerous meetings, TMC executives concluded that "growth will not be achieved without harmony." Featuring the slogan "harmonious growth," the "Toyota 2005 Vision" was released in January 1996 by President Hiroshi Okuda (current Senior Advisor to the Board). The Vision's underlying philosophy was the need to facilitate harmony between the global environment, the world economy and industries, local communities and stakeholders in order for Toyota to continue growing — and that Toyota's growth can be beneficial to the world.

In May 2002, one year after the release of "The Toyota Way 2001," President Fujio Cho (current Chairman of the Board) released "Global Vision 2010." The Vision's aim was to serve as a reminder of Toyota's founding principle of contributing to society through the manufacture of automobiles. Under the slogan of "Innovation into the Future," four themes were presented as benchmarks for projecting Toyota's corporate image into the first half of the 21st century: Kindness to the Earth, Comfort of Life, Excitement for the World and Respect for all People.

"Toyota Global Vision 2020" was part of Toyota's current attempts to address increasingly complex and conflicting issues facing the automotive industry, such as the environment and energy. Given such circumstances, the Vision outlines TMC's hope for all associates to share a firm resolve and honorable spirit and for Toyota to become an engine that drives the cycles of industry in harmony with those of nature in anticipation of the year 2020.

Specifically, the Vision states Toyota's goal is to become "more inquiring, more advanced and more dedicated" under the slogan of "Open the frontiers of tomorrow through the energy of people and technology." While Toyota's worldwide family is aiming to become "the most admired in town," the aim of Toyota's Vision is to work hard towards making every dealer, plant, regional headquarters, design center and supplier around the world, including TMC, the "best company in town." In other words, a "company that is respected and admired by the communities we operate in and creates and shares a desirable future for all."

Two views (pursuit and innovation) and three specific challenges (to become the top runner in value creation, to make activities global, and to cultivate a corporate culture that encourages self change) were incorporated as the "Toyota 2005 Vision."
With "Global Vision 2010," Toyota announced it would move forward with renewed passion and even higher aspirations and commit to making every reform necessary to create a more prosperous society.
Released in November 2007, "Toyota Global Vision 2020" is the latest in a series of Toyota "Visions" that started more than a decade ago.