Toyota GM: "Hybrids Not the Solution to the Future"

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
toyota gm hybrids not the solution to the future

Buried in an interview with Toyota GM Bob Carter: a quote that brings to mind the bon mots of GM Car Czar Bob Lutz. After Mr. Carter lauds Toyota's hybrid domination– an 80 percent U.S. market share with a supply-restricted 67 percent growth ratethe Maximum Moment™ arrives. Carter declares that "it's not our position that the hybrid is [the] solution to the future. We're looking at high-efficiency gasoline, clean diesel, fuel cells and the plug-in hybrid." While it's an ostensibly sensible position, Carter's remark must come (or will come) as something of an eye opener to ToMoCo's Veep for Drivetrain Development. Back in May, Masatami Takimoto told the Motor Authority that hybrids will be the Japanese automaker's standard drivetrain by 2020, 'cause synergy driven vehicles would be "no more expensive to produce than a conventional vehicle." So, does Carter's cautious climb down make him "Minimum Bob?"

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  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Feb 19, 2008

    The answer comes in more than one form folks. We all know that here. Every one of the technologies mentioned has SOME level of viability. I was surprised that natural gas wasn't mentioned. But then again, it hasn't been a fashionable alternative for several years now. We usually get one to two CNG vehicles at the dealer sales that can only be filled up at a station in downtown Atlanta. If my commutes actually took me there I would be tempted. But they don't... and something tells me getting that thing fixed would be an absolute nightmare.

  • Red dawg Red dawg on Feb 19, 2008

    This sounds like typical Detroit. When the competition (Asian and European) come up with a new or better idea usually the domestic 2.8 downplay it to the max and they use the same tired excuses to defend their case(s). Usually this is what we hear: We can't do that for (pick your reason or excuse) !!!! Then when the idea or feature catches on and becomes a success the 2.8 are once again caught behind the 8 ball trying to play catch up. Sure, hybrids and clean diesels may not be the best long term solution but they are a start and since the world has a limited oil supply and most of what we use now comes from middle eastern counties with crazy people in control the sooner we ween ourselves from that oil and cut back on our comsumption the better.

  • Edward Niedermeyer Edward Niedermeyer on Feb 19, 2008

    Clearly Carter's quote is a little mangled... that's the inevitable problem with these little rhetorical journeys of the mind. Does Toyota have things bubbling up the development pipe which could well replace hybrids entirely? Probably, but offering a 100% hybrid lineup is futuristic enough for me right now. Let's see that "future" before we get ahead of ourselves with other "solutions" to other "futures."

  • Kjc117 Kjc117 on Feb 19, 2008

    I would put my money on Takimoto-san statement concerning Toyota's future. BTW, diesels are in development for Tundra and FJ with help from Isuzu and Hino.