EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT LEROY’S SPEECH AT THE 2017 TOKYO MOTOR SHOW
Good morning ladies and gentlemen!
As you just saw in the video, “Start Your Impossible” are the keywords here.
Directly in line with our Global Vision, we are launching a Corporate Initiative inspired by our worldwide partnership with the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the tagline is “Start Your Impossible.”
From now on, it will also become the brand tagline of Toyota for the Japanese market.
For us, it’s much more than a few words. It is about taking the responsibility to make “Mobility for All” a reality.
We are challenging our own impossible to contribute to a society in which everyone can participate and push boundaries―their own boundaries and those imposed by physical or social forces.
To do so, we are finding our inspiration and fighting spirit from Olympic and Paralympic athletes who every day set out to achieve their own impossible, carrying the hopes and aspirations of entire nations.
Akio Toyoda says that those who exceed others in their passion to make an “ever better society” will be the leading players in future mobility.
Back in 1937, his grandfather saw that meeting the mobility needs of Japanese society was critical to the development of the country. Many people said it was impossible, but he and his team took that first step.
Today, we are at such crossroads with our industry changing faster than ever. At Toyota, we view this change as an opportunity to transform ourselves.
Yet, even as we move into new territories, like human support robots or car sharing services, there is something about cars, something quite special, something that any form of mobility should continue to inspire: and that is freedom… because when people are free to move, anything is possible.
I believe that is why cars are fun, and people see cars as something they love, rather than just a machine.
So over here, in the center of our stand, the GR Hybrid Sports and the Tj Cruiser are here to remind us that unless cars are fun, they are not really cars.
Even a very classical car like the all-new Century over there is getting people’s heart pumping after only its second update in 50 years!
Yes… the love of cars can be timeless. But the passion for mobility goes beyond cars.
For us, it means expanding our capability into technologies that can help people move around town or across the room with a better experience.
The first key technology area is AI and connected cars.
Concept-i right here is not just a design exercise, nor is it just a car. It’s a beautiful object that becomes your partner thanks to AI and connected technologies.
It can capture your state of mind and keep you engaged to reduce the risk factors of accidents. It understands what you like, what you want to do, and establishes a new relationship with you.
Concept-i doesn’t come alone.
The i-Walk right here allows you to continue your journey where cars are not allowed to go.
And the i-Ride there represents barrier-free access to personal mobility thanks to its easy access with a wheelchair.
The entire i-Series share the same AI agent, Yui, making them vehicles you can love and that can love you back.
Artificial intelligence, however, will only be possible thanks to connectivity and Big Data.
That is why, as early as 2018, the new Toyota Crown based on the concept here on my left will be the new norm for connected vehicles in Japan.
After Crown, we will equip almost all our passenger cars in Japan and the U.S. by 2020 with data communication modules and connection to our Mobility Service Platform in the cloud.
Our second area of focus, automated driving, is also a key technology to realize “Mobility for All.”
At Toyota, we are developing both “Chauffeur” and “Guardian” modes.
In “Chauffeur” mode, our cars will be smart enough to handle all driving tasks and provide mobility to those who cannot enjoy it now.
In “Guardian” mode, we combine human and machine skills to make driving safer and to keep the liberating feeling of driving as the car’s technology is running in the background for your safety.
Guardian and Chauffeur both reflect Toyota’s unique approach of developing a safety system where the driver and the car act like teammates.
We call it Mobility Teammate, and it will be on the market in 2020 for highways and in the early 2020s for normal roads.
Finally, let me talk about electrification.
Our first mass-produced electrified car was on this stand here in Tokyo 20 years ago: it was the Prius, and it was “the pioneer” in the electrified vehicle space.
Our message was clear: electrification was going to change transportation for good.
Since the purpose of electrification is to reduce negative impact on the environment, the real value comes when these vehicles are sold in significant quantities.
Today, Toyota already sells 37 electrified cars in more than 90 countries with nearly 1.5 million units sold annually. In fact, if you take the entire global market for “electrified vehicles” today, Toyota’s market share stands at 43%.
With more than 11 million electrified cars we have sold in the past 20 years, we have developed and improved many electrified components, including motors, inverters, electric control software, and batteries.
This experience puts us in a very good position for the next step, which is pure EVs.
We have no doubt that EVs will be one of the key solutions in the near future.
That is why we have created a new company with Mazda and Denso to develop EV architecture with a view to mass production.
We have also invested in advanced battery research for a very long time, and we believe our solid-state battery technology can be a game-changer with the potential to dramatically improve driving range.
We are the leader in the field in terms of intellectual property, and currently we have more than 200 engineers working hard to be able to commercialize this technology sometime in the early 2020s.
That does not mean we are moving away from fuel cells. Here in Japan, today, we are introducing two new FCVs, demonstrating our firm commitment to realize a hydrogen society.
The Fine-Comfort Ride prefigures a premium FCV with spacious interior and a driving range of around 1000 km.
And the New FC Bus concept “Sora” is the evolution of the two buses already in operation in Tokyo. Starting from next year, more than one hundred of them will be operated in the Tokyo metro area.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be an important interim goal for us. There, the world will be able to experience the future of “Mobility for All.”
Leading up to the Games, you will see the streets of Tokyo change with our new JPN Taxi that will extend the welcoming feeling you get in Japan thanks to its easy access for people in wheelchairs.
At the Games, you will see some of our Concept-i series, as well as our automated cars. Hydrogen society will also be on show.
Ladies and gentlemen, in conclusion, let me tell you our commitment.
Toyota loves cars, and we will bring ever-better mobility to ever more customers as technology frees us to push our boundaries.
And I can promise you that our mobility will always be fun.
Our “impossible” has just started. See you again in 2019 and 2020 here in Tokyo!
Thank you very much.