Good morning ladies and gentleman and welcome to Toyota.
Our vision is to deliver better mobility for all. That’s not just about making cars. It’s about developing solutions that enable everyone to enjoy the freedom of mobility, regardless of age or physical ability.
Our commitment to ever-better mobility for all is strongly linked to our Olympics and Paralympics partnerships. We feel very close to the athletes and para-athletes around the world. It’s feeling captured in our ‘Start Your Impossible’ message. It’s about our belief that everyone should aspire to achieve their life’s ambitions, however challenging.
Turning for a moment to our business performance in 2017. We broke through the one million sales mark in Europe again. That gave us a 4.8 per cent market share. With almost 80 per cent of Toyota vehicles having been built right here in Europe. That shows how dedicated we are to local manufacturing.
It’s our hybrid electric models that are powering our growth. Last year, they accounted for 41 per cent of our total European sales. In Western European markets, it was more than 50 per cent. That’s due to a 38 per cent year on year increase in the number we have sold.
Models that make a strong emotional connection with owners have also boosted our performance in 2017. Specifically the [Toyota] C-HR and RAV4, cars that are great to own, and to drive.
Looking ahead, we want to sustain our growth, both in sales and profit. This year, we again plan to sell more than one million vehicles. And this time we expect the hybrid mix above 47%.
Let’s now talk about the future! Here, to my right, you can see how we expect to achieve our mobility goals. Starting with the new Concept-i.
With Concept-i we are building a new relationship between the driver and the car. In effect, they become partners. Concept-i uses artificial intelligence and advanced connectivity. So it will get to know and understand the driver’s habits and preferences. Its automated driving functions will make journeys easier, safer and more enjoyable.
We have made the Concept-i RIDE fully accessible for people with limited personal mobility, such as wheelchair users. And the Concept-i WALK is compact, adaptable and easy to manoeuvre. So it’s great for moving around pedestrian areas. These 3 concepts are battery electric vehicles. But we are also working on our next generation fuel cell electric technology. That has been applied here in the Fine-Comfort Ride. It looks to the future of premium sedan design. And it’s practical, with a range of more than 1,000 kilometres, fast refuelling and, of course, zero emissions.
Toyota started the electrification revolution more than 20 years ago. We began with Prius. Then we rapidly expanded into core European segments. By the end of the month, we will have sold close to 12 million electrified vehicles worldwide. In Europe the figure is 1.8 million.
Our President Akio Toyoda announced our ambition of selling 5.5 million electrified vehicles a year, by 2030. These will include 1 million Fuel cell and Battery electric vehicles. In Europe, Hybrid electric will remain the primary vector for our future growth, as you can see outlined on the chart behind me.
When we look at the success of our hybrids in Europe, Auris is the model which moved the technology from niche to mainstream. We launched the first Auris Hybrid in 2010. It was aimed right at the heart of the important European C-segment market. Since then we have sold more than 460 thousand Auris hybrids.
It’s been a breakthrough car for Toyota. Because most have been bought by people new to the model, or to the technology. Now it is time for a new chapter in the Auris story.
Ladies and gentleman, I am pleased to present the new, third generation Auris.
As we recently confirmed, the new Auris will be made at our Burnaston factory in the UK and sales in Europe will start early next year. Its main strengths are founded on two innovations: the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and the 4th generation hybrid electric powertrain.
TNGA gives the car rigidity and a low centre of gravity. These are the qualities you need for outstanding comfort, handling and driving pleasure. Thanks to TNGA we have been able to create a premium, dynamic design. And achieve top class NVH performance. These are key to giving the new Auris a stronger emotional appeal.
Six months ago in Frankfurt we announced a second hybrid electric powertrain for all our core models in the future. And here it is! The new Auris will be the first Toyota to offer the choice of two hybrid electric powertrains. It will have the super-efficient 1.8-litre system, the same as in the Prius and [Toyota] C-HR. And it will also be available with a new 2.0-litre hybrid with 180hp.
Yes, it’s more powerful. But of course it is fuel efficient. And a new Hybrid Transmission will make it even more enjoyable and engaging to drive. The current 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine will complete the range. But, you may ask, where’s the diesel powertrain? The answer is simple : there isn’t one.
We are carrying on a strategy we started with the launch of the [Toyota] C-HR. We are building on the success of our hybrid line-up, and phasing out Diesel engines from our passenger cars in Europe. Customer demand is a clear sign that our petrol-electric hybrids are a strong and popular alternative.
I am also pleased to introduce new upgrades for the smallest member of our range, the AYGO. The current model has done a great job for our brand. It has brought many new, younger and style-conscious customers to Toyota. Across Europe we sold more than 85,000 AYGOs last year.
Now we want to build on that momentum by giving the car even more appeal. On the outside there’s a stronger look for the famous frontal X. Inside there are new colours, patterns and upholsteries. The engine has been made quieter and more responsive. And suspension changes make for a more comfortable ride.
I have talked about the emotional appeal we are bringing to our cars. But we want to add excitement as well. That’s where the work of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is playing a key role. We launched TOYOTA GAZOO Racing as a brand in Europe last year. Because we know that taking part in motorsports is a great way to make Ever-Better Cars for the road. This year, we have already had great success. Second and third for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa Hilux on the Dakar Rally. It’s a super tough event, but more than 40% of the vehicles which made it to the finish were Toyotas!
In WRC, after an exciting start of the season with strong performances in both Monte Carlo and Sweden, TOYOTA is running second in the Manufacturers Championship!
And for our World Endurance Championship team, a full season lies ahead. Including the Le Mans 24-hours. And we are very excited that double Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso will be in our drivers’ line-up! With him, we will further enhance our Hybrid Electric technologies for our future road cars.
And today, with the concept car I am about to reveal, we are preparing for an exciting new sports car that we will be launching soon. Ladies and gentlemen, the new GR Supra Racing Concept.
Yes, the Supra is returning. This concept is a clear signal of our intention to bring back one of our most legendary sports cars to the market. This baby, developed by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, is a thoroughbred designed for the race track.
The best way of taking our ‘Supra Hero’ into a new era. It has been made light, compact and, of course, fast.I think you will agree it looks amazing!
So to conclude, our future will seize the opportunities the Toyota New Global Architecture gives us. To create new cars with emotional designs. Cars that are desirable and genuinely rewarding to own and great to drive. We will accelerate the electrification of our model range. Not just by using our world-leading hybrid electric technology. We will also introduce new battery electric vehicles.
And we will make sure that “Fun to drive” and Proud to Own will be associated with Toyota. Just like Quality and Durability already are.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you all for your kind attention.
And now for your photographs, first of all I would now like to invite Ueda-san, Chief Engineer of the new Auris, to join me here on stage.
Tada-san, Chief Engineer of Supra, will be available next to the GR Supra Concept, and Terai-san, Chief Engineer of AYGO will be next to the New Aygos.
Thank you very much.