By on June 22, 2009

Toyota, the automaker of choice for the green movement, is under fire by the green movement. It seems that the company wants to turn 1600 acres of cedar forests and 17th century rice paddies into a research center that’ll include 10km of road courses. The problem—in addition to the historical value of the area—is that it’s the habitat of the endangered gray-faced buzzard and oriental honey buzzard. In total, Bloomberg reports, the project will deforest 691 acres, fill in rice paddies and raze mountains. Shigemi Oda, chairman of the “Society to Consider the Large-Scale Development Project of the 21st Century,” summed it up: “Most people think of Toyota as an environmentally friendly company. Crushing mountains is environmentally destructive.”

On the other hand, Toyota’s new president Akio Toyoda wants to put the road courses to good use once they’re built. It turns out the dude has some serious driving creds. In May, he drove a 500 hp Lexus in a 24-hour endurance race in Germany, finishing 87th in the 170-car field. And he’s not stopping now that he’s el jefe. “I plan to drive our cars. I’d like to be a president who’s as close to the action as possible.” That may not be environmentally proper, but in the auto industry it’s like a breath of fresh air.

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14 Comments on “Toyota Pisses Off Environmentalists...”


  • avatar
    vento97

    Say it ain’t so!

    You mean the maker of the Pious (I mean, Prius), the darling of the sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, liberal enviro-frauds is hatching an evil plot hell-bent on destroying rice paddies?

    OH SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!!!

    :)

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    The price of becoming Number 1….

    Now that the evil GM has been deposed and destroyed, the environmentalists must look for a new target. Who is the biggest enemy of the people? The biggest carmaker, of course. Who’s the biggest car maker now?

  • avatar
    Samuel L. Bronkowitz

    Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    The new Pious commercials with their greeny-touchy-feely vibe are so out of step with a company that makes tons of money selling really big vehicles.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Shigemi Oda, chairman of the “Society to Consider the Large-Scale Development Project of the 21st Century”, should gather together a bunch of green groups and offer to buy the land from Toyota. Then they can maintain it in the 17th century and Toyota can make a tidy profit from the transaction.

    What, no money for that? They would prefer the government just say no and deprive the company of the use of their land? Think of the loss of tax revenue, my man!

    How about if we compromise: Level the mountain and only test hybrid cars there, for a while at least. This would conflict the tree huggers to no end since we would essentially sacrifice rice patties and a forest to save the entire planet.

    To quote the “in your face” commercial, “Unless you have a problem with jobs”

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    You are what the public’s perception says you are, and right now people see Toyota as the company that builds the Prius. If they raze a mountain and destroy a forest to build this facility, the Prius could never fix the image problems that it would create. It would be a seriously dumb move for Toyota.

  • avatar
    paris-dakar

    It’s the goddamn Spotted Owl all over again…

  • avatar
    stevenm

    Someone at Toyota who cares about driving cars quickly? Who would have thought we’d ever see that again.

    Now if only they can build a new Supra without turning it into some grotesque 15-wheel drive hybrid GT-Rish monstrosity.

  • avatar
    MidLifeCelica

    What if Toyota promises to leave all of the little animals killed by the cars on the road course for the buzzards to eat? Seems like a natural win-win situation to me…

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    Road courses for what… Camrys?

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    I’m all for saving trees my friends. Have you ever been to a natural cedar forest? Very zen man, very zen. Trees also produce all that wonderful oxygen which makes my car go faster.

    Rice patties on the other hand aren’t exactly environmentally friendly. I say fill those in and damn the crowded living conditions on Honshu and having your own limited food sourcing for the sake of yet another proving ground.

  • avatar
    WetWilly

    If they raze a mountain and destroy a forest to build this facility, the Prius could never fix the image problems that it would create.

    Unless Toyota says the reason they’re doing it is that it will allow Toyota to build even better Priuses. While the enviros sit there conflicted, Toyota can raze the place.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    I can’t believe the buzzards are the only “endangered” species there. I’ll bet if you give some of those environmental “scientists” (whack jobs) a few days on the site they would find another unique 15 species that live ONLY on those 691 acres. And then, it would be a global CATASTROPHE, an OUTRAGE I’m telling you, to allow the evil manufacturing company to destroy the globally unique environment that supports those 15 globally unique versions of rats, mice, worms, fleas, and ticks. Oh yeah, and that unique version of avian flu virus the ducks in those rice paddies carry.

  • avatar
    Airhen

    I always like to remind environmentalists that where their house is (or their apartment or parent’s house) that it was once untouched land with trees and grasses where little animals once lived and played.

    Build that road course boys!

  • avatar
    pleiter

    I can top this story. Here in the People’s Republic of Maryland, a housing development proposed near BWI airport was stopped because of the environmental impact to an endangered species of WEED.


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