TOYOTA RISES TO ‘SPIRIT OF CHALLENGE’

  • Committed to continued success in Europe
  • Full Corolla range roll-out in progress
  • New concepts for new customers
  • F1, Toyota’s greatest motor sport challenge
  • Advanced environmental technologies for our future

Toyota has, once again, achieved record sales in Europe – the fifth successive year of growth. Total sales for 2001 were 666,035, up 1.6 per cent on the year and with a market share of 3.7 per cent.

Toyota comes to the 2002 Geneva Motor Show with optimism for the new year and with new spirit to face the challenges of the future.

This spirit is shown at Geneva by the remarkable range of exciting new cars now displayed; the presentation of high technology solutions for the future and the first glimpse of new concepts which, maybe, will satisfy the needs of customers to come.

In this spirit, Toyota is committed to the challenge of remaining a global automotive leader and becoming a major player in Europe. It continues to invest in new technologies, new models and new markets to satisfy completely the needs of its customers.

Corolla a Hit Across Europe

Just a few short months after its reveal at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show; the all-new Toyota Corolla is now on sale across Europe.

The rapid roll-out of the Corolla range in a wide variety of body styles emphasises Toyota’s commitment to the challenge of becoming a major force in the European car market – and a sales leader in the C-segment, Europe’s most competitive arena.

Unlike other recent C-segment launches, new Toyota Corolla is already available across many European countries with a full range of bodystyles and advanced technology engines, covering around 84% of the market.

These include a new Corolla Verso in the fast growing compact MPV segment; mainstream Corolla Hatchbacks in three and five door style; a roomy and practical Corolla Estate and a classic and elegant Corolla saloon*. At the top of the new Corolla range is the exciting Corolla T Sport.

(* The saloon is to be introduced to the UK in the summer.)

New Concepts For New Customers

Star of last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, p.o.d – a car that thinks, talks, smiles …. and yes, even cries, with you – is presented in Europe for the first time at Geneva. Developed in conjunction with Sony Corporation, p.o.d is a technological showcase that points the way to the future when there will be a new relationship between cars and people.

p.o.d moves the car forward from being just a transport tool to being a partner in a journey. It recognises that modern technology enables the car-user relationship to develop as both man and the machine learn more about each other. In doing so p.o.d redefines totally the automotive concept, creating a whole new dimension in safety and comfort.

The Toyota UUV (or Urban Utility Vehicle) is dramatically revealed in a world premiere as a possible face of the future. UUV has the potential to be the next step forward for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and to create an entirely new urban niche in the market.

UUV offers customers the unique ‘stand-out’ qualities of the current 4×4 market blended with typical urban features, such as sophisticated design, clean geometric surfaces and excellent road behaviour. It also seeks to blend Japanese culture – expressed by technical innovation – with European culture, represented by the exterior shape.

The UUV was created in Europe by Toyota’s European design centre (ED2). The target of UUV is a new type of customer – born of the urban environment but ready to be adventurous in their driving.

Perhaps even more adventurous is FXS, a stunning Sports Concept car. FXS, short for Future Experimental Sports, is a two seater roadster developed to satisfy the true sports car enthusiast who believes driving is one of life’s great pleasures.

FXS is a pure, open roadster – low slung and sexy, with a perfect balance front to rear for maximum performance and stability. The design offers classic beauty with simple exterior lines and aerodynamic nose.

FXS is very low and wide. The 4.3-litre V8 engine is mounted low, front midships and drives the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox operated by Formula 1 style shift buttons. Toyota promises ‘abundant’ power and torque up to 8,000rpm.

The Motor Sport Challenge

This year, Toyota faces one of its greatest challenges with its entry into Formula 1 racing, the ultimate test-bed for automotive technology.

The debut of the Panasonic Toyota TF102 in the Australian Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2002 FIA Formula 1 world championship, marks the culmination of an intensive three year programme to develop and build a complete Formula 1 car from scratch.

But the spirit of Toyota has been tested many times before in motorsport and the company has a successful heritage to build on. Toyota won its first motorsport event in 1958, scored numerous wins in the endurance Can-Am series in the 1960s, before going on to form the legendary Toyota Team Europe.

Over 25 years, Toyota Team Europe became the dominant force in world rallying – taking

43 FIA World Rally Championship wins; three World Rally Championship manufacturer titles; four World Championship driver titles and four Middle-east Championship titles.

In the 1990s, Toyota returned to the famous Le Mans 24 Hours race – the GT-One still holds the lap record for the current Sarthe circuit.

Toyota now offers its customers a chance to share in this sporting spirit through the T Sport range – Yaris T Sport, Celica T Sport and the latest Corolla T Sport.

The Challenges Ahead

The global automotive industry faces many challenges in the future as it seeks to provide customers with cars which completely satisfy their transport needs and desires – while protecting the environment.

Toyota is a world leader in environmental research and has risen to the challenge of developing and building cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles by introducing hybrid technology to the market. The Toyota Hybrid System is not some theoretical power plant of the future, but a real, practical solution available here and now in major world markets with the popular Toyota Prius.

As a further sign of Toyota’s commitment and belief in hybrid technology, the company is targetted to expand total production of hybrid-powered vehicles to 10 times current levels and reach annual production of 300,000 units by 2005.

Toyota also leads world car manufacturers in the development of fuel cell vehicles, which are widely seen as a potential answer to the great motoring challenge of the future – how to develop a zero polluting alternative to current hydrocarbon-based internal combustion engines.

With its real world experience in the development of petrol-electric hybrid vehicles, such as the Prius, Toyota has been working since 1992 on Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicles (FCHV) which are now at the road testing stage. In total, Toyota has seven FCHVs on Japanese and U.S. roads, more than any other car maker.

A major new development has been the creation of FCHV-5 which generates electricity from hydrogen derived from Clean Hydrocarbon Fuel (CHF) using Toyota’s own CHF reformer.

Clean Hydrocarbon Fuel is a relatively new concept and is seen as the next generation liquid fuel. It can be produced from crude oil, natural gas or coal and has a low sulphur content. Most importantly, it can be used as a fuel for current internal combustion engines and supplied through conventional petrol pumps.

Finally, closer to home, Toyota will shortly begin real world trials of its revolutionary diesel emissions purification system called DPNR (Diesel Particulate – NOx Reduction System). The new system simultaneously and continuously reduces particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in diesel vehicle exhaust gas.

The commercial launch of DPNR, which will surely follow, will complement Toyota’s existing advanced technology, D-4D common rail diesel engines – confirming Toyota as a leading diesel engine manufacturer in Europe.

ENDS