There is an unusual exhibitor at the International Tokyo Toy Show: Toyota. The company shows a grown-up toy car. The car seats 3 children up to 4 feet tall. It has an engine. It drives. Being a toy, it can be dismantled and put together in many different ways. Twist a few knobs, and the car converts from a retro sedan to an offroadish buggy. There is another turn: the toy is supposed to turn on kids to cars.
The car is called “Camatte.” Toyota says this is from the Japanese word for “care”, meant to signify “caring for others” and “caring for cars.” TTAC’s cross-cultural advisor, Frau Schmitto-san, says it is Japanese for “play with me!” The car is said to be powered by an electric motor, and to have a top speed of 25 mph
“Japanese automakers have long been trying to woo back Japan’s young generation, who are no longer appear as eager to own their own sets of wheels.
According to Japan’s Automobile Manufacturer’s Association, in a poll conducted in 2008, car ownership ranked 17th place on university students’ wish list – trailing behind music players and computer games. Just 20 years ago, cars ranked number 7 on the wish list.”