Annual Report 2014

With the goal of making ever-better cars, the Toyota Global Vision is an articulation of the kind of company we want to be. It is based on shared values and a spirit of monozukuri (conscientious manufacturing) passed down since our foundation and embodied in the core values of Sakichi Toyoda, the Guiding Principles at Toyota, and the Toyota Way. We use the image of a tree to illustrate our vision: the roots are our shared values; the ongoing upward growth of its branches represents our efforts to expand business; the fruit represents making ever-better cars and enriching lives and local communities; and the trunk is our stable base of business. As the trunk of the tree grows bigger and stronger, it is able to support more branches—the creation of ever-better cars. This is the trajectory that puts Toyota on the path toward sustainable growth.

the components of our vision, building ever-better cars takes priority. We want to deliver products and services that surprise and excite our customers. We want to be a company that puts smiles on faces—and keeps them there.

Environmental concerns must be taken into account when we think about creating a “mobility society” (that is, a highly mobile society reliant on automobiles as its major means of transportation). The Guiding Principles at Toyota, set forth in January 1992, declared that we will “dedicate our business to providing clean and safe products and to enhancing quality of life everywhere through all of our activities.” In line with this principle, in December 1997, Toyota launched the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius.

The environment is still a top-priority management issue. In addition to hybrid vehicles, Toyota has been developing next-generation eco cars, including plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles. Believing that the spread of eco cars is in itself good for the environment, Toyota has focused on hybrid vehicles, selling more than six million in total as of December 2013. Although it took nine years and nine months for cumulative sales to reach the one million mark in May 2007, strengthening demand has accelerated the popularization of hybrids. After passing the four million mark in April 2012, it took only 11 months for cumulative sales to break five million in March 2013, and another nine months to hit six million in December 2013.

Based on the concept of producing the optimal vehicle in the optimal location at the optimal time, Toyota has broadened its hybrid lineup and now offers at least one in each automobile category. We believe hybrids have finally entered a full-scale growth phase and are no longer niche products.

Toyota calculates that as of December 31, 2013, use of Toyota hybrids* had resulted in approximately 41 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions** than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance. Toyota also estimates that the use of its hybrid vehicles has saved approximately 15 million kiloliters of gasoline compared with the amount that would have been used by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size. Hybrid vehicles offer lower CO2 emissions and lower fossil fuel consumption.

As of the end of August 2014, Toyota has 27 hybrid models and one plug-in hybrid model on the market in about 80 countries and regions. Furthermore, within the next two years (2014 and 2015), we plan to launch a total of 15 new hybrid models worldwide. Taking advantage of our pioneer status, we will continue adding to this lineup and increasing the number of countries and regions where we sell hybrids, with the ultimate aim of popularizing eco cars around the world.

* Excludes the Coaster hybrid electric vehicle and the Quick Delivery 200 model.
** Number of registered vehicles × distance traveled × fuel efficiency (actual fuel efficiency in each country) × CO2 conversion factor

Hybrid technology can be applied to the development of all sorts of environment-friendly vehicles and can be found in a wide variety of powertrains. Toyota has positioned hybrid technology as a core environmental technology for the 21st century. As a pioneer in the mass production of hybrid vehicles, we are continuing to improve this technology.

High efficiency SiC power semiconductor Video duration: 3:09

Power semiconductors have a big impact on the effectiveness of hybrid technology. Hybrid systems offer excellent fuel economy through the efficient use of two power sources: gasoline engines and electric motors. A large number of power semiconductors are used in the power control unit (PCU), a device situated between the motor, power generator and batteries. The PCU controls the output of the motor. Some of the electrical current that flows through the power semiconductors in the PCU is lost as heat; in fact, approximately 20% of a hybrid vehicle's overall electricity loss is from the power semiconductors. For this reason, making power semiconductors more efficient will improve fuel economy. Toyota has been developing its own power semiconductors as a key technology for improving fuel economy since the launch of its first-generation Prius in 1997. In the latest, third-generation Prius, electricity loss has been reduced to a quarter of that of the first-generation Prius.

Aiming to make tomorrow's Toyota better than today's, we are developing power semiconductors that use next-generation silicon technology, namely, silicon carbide (SiC), a material that is a compound of silicon and carbon. We have already improved fuel economy more than 5%* in a prototype featuring the new SiC power semiconductors. As early as possible, Toyota aims to commercialize SiC power semiconductors that offer a 10%* improvement in fuel economy through greater efficiency. In addition, we aim to shrink the PCU to one-fifth the size of current PCUs through the use of SiC power semiconductors.

* Toyota estimate based on a prototype driven under the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism's JC08 test cycle parameters.

Over half a century has passed since Toyota exported its first two Crowns to North America in 1957, and it has been almost 30 years since Toyota started building cars in North America, beginning with New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc., in 1986.

Through the 1980s, Toyota was well known as a maker of mid-sized and compact passenger cars, such as the Camry and Corolla, as well as the Hilux small pickup truck. In 1989, Toyota launched the Lexus brand as its entry into the luxury passenger car market. From that point onward, it expanded its lineups of luxury vehicles and cars for young drivers as well as light-duty trucks, and introduced hybrid models, changing its image as a carmaker and increasing its presence in the U.S. market.

Cumulative production volume in North America reached 10 million vehicles in 2001, 20 million vehicles at the end of 2008, and 25 million vehicles in October 2012. In May 2014, Toyota's plant in Kentucky, which started production in May 1988, became the first Toyota plant outside Japan to have produced 10 million vehicles.

Today, in the United States and Canada, Toyota has 11* manufacturing companies, three distributors, and a network of more than 1,750 dealers that sell more than two million Toyota and Lexus vehicles annually.

Cumulative production volume at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky has reached 10 million vehicles.
(Video duration: 3:58)

In our quest to innovate and make tomorrow's Toyota even better than today's, we have decided to establish a new North American headquarters, moving our regional manufacturing, sales and marketing, corporate, and financial services headquarters to a single location in Plano, Texas. The move is intended to increase efficiency and collaboration throughout the organization, with the ultimate aim of ensuring sustained growth in North America by creating a business structure that allows us to deliver ever-better cars to customers.

Ahead of this strengthening of our business foundation and in line with our principle of building the right cars in the right places, we have assigned an American as the chief engineer overseeing the redesign of the flagship Camry model. Under his guidance, and based on intricate market research, the Camry has evolved into a car with bold form and solid handling.

* Excluding Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc., which produces vehicles on a commissioned basis

Automobiles can be powered by a wide range of energy sources, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, synthetic liquid fuel, biofuel, electricity, and hydrogen. Two strategies are being taken to address environmental problems caused by the mass consumption of fossil fuels: using less petroleum and diversifying energy sources. Combining high thermal efficiency, low fuel consumption engines and a host of advanced technologies, hybrid vehicles are a textbook example of how to use less petroleum. Energy diversification is a broad field, and Toyota is confident that hydrogen represents the next promising energy source of the future.

Fuel cell vehicles run on a motor powered by electricity generated by a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in a fuel cell. The only byproduct of a fuel cell vehicle in operation is water vapor. It does not emit any harmful substances such as CO2, a cause of global warming, or SO2 and NOx, causes of atmospheric pollution. In addition to producing zero emissions when driven, fuel cell vehicles are also highly practical. Their defining characteristic is their long cruising range. They can also be refueled very quickly.

As a source of electrical power during emergencies, a fuel cell vehicle is capable of powering a typical home for roughly a week. Because of their simultaneous achievement of zero emissions and high practicality, Toyota positions these vehicles as the ultimate eco-car.

However, one barrier to the proliferation of fuel cell vehicles is the need to create a refueling infrastructure in the form of hydrogen stations. To ensure that our customers are able to operate fuel cell vehicles reliably, Toyota is cooperating in the establishment and operation of a hydrogen supply infrastructure in numerous countries and regions around the world.

We have more than two decades of experience with fuel cell vehicles; we started development in 1992 and launched the Toyota FCHV, the world's first fuel cell SUV, in December 2002 on a limited basis in Japan and the United States. Toyota has developed a proprietary fuel cell stack and high-pressure hydrogen tank—critical components of a fuel cell vehicle—that perform at worldleading levels.

Video duration: 0:44

Toyota plans to start selling a fuel cell sedan in Japan before March 2015. At first, the new vehicle will be sold only in major cities that plan to build hydrogen station networks. We are also preparing to launch the sedan in the United States and Europe around summer 2015. From the 2020s onward, we expect the market for fuel cell vehicles to increase significantly, with several tens of thousands of vehicles sold per year.

Over the next 100 years, we believe electrified powertrains will hold the key to the future of the automobile. The first-generation Prius opened the door to this future in 1997, and a new era of transportation emerged once major challenges were overcome. Similarly, fuel cell vehicles represent the next stage in the development of a future “mobility society.” Toyota has embarked on a long journey toward making hydrogen an everyday fuel and fuel cell vehicles the norm.

Video duration: 2:23

On September 1, 1923, Japan's rail system was devastated by the Great Kanto Earthquake. Automobiles played a key role in helping save lives and facilitating reconstruction in the aftermath. For many people, this event demonstrated not only the practical public role that automobiles could play but the convenience such vehicles, previously regarded only as luxury items, could offer. The surge in demand for automobiles following the earthquake was met by U.S. automakers, whose mass production structure gave them an advantage in both supply capability and cost. Efforts were made to produce vehicles in Japan from around 1910 onwards. However, as Japanese industry at the time was for the most part technologically underdeveloped, business conditions were not conducive to the establishment of a full-blown automotive industry, and ventures to produce vehicles domestically were unable to compete with the U.S. automakers that set up automobile assembly plants in Japan immediately after the earthquake. However, 10 years later, on September 1, 1933, Kiichiro Toyoda established the Automotive Production Division (which would later become the Automotive Department) within Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd., and began preparing to build prototypes. While declaring lofty goals, Toyoda, like his father Sakichi, took a hands-on approach to learning and was often heard saying, "an engineer who does not have to wash his hands at least three times a day is not doing a good job."

Toyota is a company born from the passions of its founders, who wanted nothing less than to establish a globally competitive automobile industry in Japan.

Model AA

Kiichiro Toyoda's passion and commitment to developing an automobile industry in Japan were tested repeatedly. When he began, there were no steelmakers in Japan developing the sheet steel needed for automobiles. Toyoda found himself having to establish new business units, such as the Steel Production Department (which later became Aichi Steel Corporation) alongside the Automotive Department.

After numerous failures, Toyoda finished building the first prototype Model G1 Truck on August 25, 1935, and the truck launched in December of that year. Over the following year, a total of 14 Model G1 Trucks were sold. At the behest of the government, truck development took priority, but Toyoda had also completed a prototype Model A1 passenger car in May 1935, and was able to put it on the market in 1936 as the improved Model AA—its first mass-produced passenger car. Only two years after establishing the Automotive Department, Toyoda had launched an automobile business in line with his conviction, “once you start a new business, moving quickly makes the most economic sense.”

1935, the year Toyoda began to produce automobiles, was also the year that he laid down his vision for the future, which led to today's Toyota Global Vision. On October 30, 1935, the fifth anniversary of the death of his father, Sakichi Toyoda (1867-1930), Kiichiro Toyoda set down in writing some of his father's core values before announcing the Model G1 Truck. Sakichi Toyoda was the founder of today's Toyota Group as well as an inventor in his own right with numerous patents and new practical designs in his name, both in Japan and abroad.

On August 28, 1937, the Automotive Department was spun off into Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. In 1940, annual automobile output was 46,000 vehicles in Japan, compared with 4,470,000 vehicles in the United States, an enormous difference in scale and capability.

The endeavor to make a Japanese automobile from nothing to a finished product was an ordeal, involving identifying defects and solving problems one by one.

On September 25, 1945, soon after the end of World War II, the Allied Power's General Headquarters in Japan authorized the production of trucks and in principle allowed any company to produce and sell automobiles from October 25, 1949. The industry, however, was still in disarray.

In the 1950s, Japanese automakers were forging technological alliances with foreign automakers for the production of passenger cars. Kiichiro Toyoda chose a different path in line with his father Sakichi's admonishment, “Before you say you can't do something, try it.” Aiming to research and innovate on his own, Toyoda embarked on the full-fledged development of a passenger car using home-grown technology. When development began, Toyoda decided to name this new passenger car the Crown, feeling that this might be his crowning achievement. However, he passed away suddenly in March 1952, before the completion of the Crown, which featured cutting-edge technologies, including a front-axle double wishbone suspension. Fulfilling Kiichiro Toyoda's dying wish, the Toyopet Crown was finished in 1955 and launched as Japan's first full-fledged passenger car.

By October 1956, sales of the Toyopet Crown exceeded 1,000 vehicles per month, becoming a hit among drivers enamored with its proprietary design featuring rear-hinged doors and a front-wheel independent suspension for a smooth ride. With the popularity of the Crown, Toyota completed construction on the Motomachi Plant in Aichi Prefecture in July 1959, only eleven months after the groundbreaking ceremony. The plant was to produce 60,000 passenger cars per year.

Kiichiro Toyoda's dream of mass producing a home-grown passenger car and sparking the development of Japan's automotive industry had finally come true.

Video duration: 4:02

In November 1966, the first-generation Corolla was launched in anticipation of the arrival of mass motorization. The car's sales gained momentum in 1966, with the start of production at the newly constructed Takaoka Plant in Aichi Prefecture and exports to Australia. In 1968 exports to North America began to expand. As a result, total automobile output at Toyota, which was around 480,000 vehicles in 1965, more than doubled to roughly 1,100,000 vehicles by 1968, increasing in line with sales of the first-generation Corolla. In 1970, four years after the Corolla's launch, cumulative worldwide sales of the car surpassed one million, and the concept of building the right cars in the right places led to rave reviews around the globe. The Corolla became the world's best-selling car, reaching in 22.65 million cumulative sales in 1997. In July 2013, global cumulative sales of the Corolla crossed the 40 million vehicle mark. One in every five cars sold over the last 76 years has been a Corolla. Always staying ahead of the times and paying attention to the needs of our customers and society, Toyota has worked relentlessly to improve the technologies and quality of the Corolla. Today, the Corolla is marketed in more than 150 countries and regions around the world, and it is manufactured in 15 locations around the world, including two in Japan.

This is in line with a sentiment Sakichi Toyoda expressed at the construction of an automatic loom plant in 1921 in Shanghai, China, namely, "open your door, and look outside," an apt reminder that we should keep our eye on the world and cultivate the courage to take on any challenge.

The Corolla, adored by so many drivers around the world, is one car that laid the cornerstone for making ever-better cars.

The development of the first-generation Prius was a major turning point for Toyota. At the time, Chairman Eiji Toyoda stated that Toyota must be in a position to help its customers and society more. The Prius was conceived with this goal in mind.

What should cars look like in the 21st century? To answer this question, the G21 Project was launched in September 1993 with 10 staff assembled from divisions across the Company, including engine, chassis, and body engineering, as well as production technology. With "G" standing for Globe and "21" for 21st century, the ambitious goal of the G21 Project was to double the fuel economy of existing engines.

The hybrid system was developed from scratch, and many obstacles were encountered along the way. For example, the first prototype, completed in November 1995, simply stopped working after 49 days of operation, and the engineers could not figure out why. That same year, the Prius concept car was displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show to great fanfare. Encouraged by this reception, Toyota moved up the launch date for the Prius to December 1997, from the original 1999, to coincide with the Kyoto Conference on Climate Change (COP3).

The first-generation Prius was the result of a cross-organizational companywide effort to accelerate the development of the hybrid system that included the integration of the development departments for system control and electronic units. The Prius project was exceptional; in the extremely short time frame of two years, completely new technologies were developed and put into mass production. The first-generation Prius debuted with the slogan, “Just in time for the 21st century.” The core hybrid technologies developed then can be applied to any type of eco car.

As long as innovation continues in hybrid technology, we can work toward a “mobility society” with more options for customers.

Acrobat Reader 4.0 or higher is required to view these PDF files.


Frequently asked questions and answers about Toyota's corporate, stock and financial information
Read more

Cautionary Statement

Contains forward-looking statements that reflect Toyota's plans and expectations
Read more