By on March 9, 2011

Today, Akio Toyoda presented Toyota’s „Global Vision“ to the press in Tokyo. Sure, there are the usual affirmations to “continue to furnish world-class safety,” and to “continue to contribute to environmental quality and to human happiness.” But what are they really up to?

  • More excitement. I am hearing “more exciting cars” at an increasing pace out of Toyota. Today, Toyoda stressed again that Toyota will “offer genuinely exciting models.” Apparently, the niggling about blandmobiles had its effect.
  • Hybrids and some side bets. Toyota will “expand the line of hybrid models, launching about 10 more by 2015.” But they will also “continue to develop a full range of plug-in hybrid vehicles, pure electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles.”
  • Don’t forget the ICE. Toyota will “continue to pursue further gains in fuel economy in conventional gasoline engines.”
  • Focus on emerging markets. Currently, Toyota has 60 percent of its sales in industrialized nations, 40 percent in emerging markets. By 2015, the ration is expected to be 50:50.

The “industrialized nations” will need to make do with what they’ve got. Toyota’s strategy for the future sees Japan to “make the most of Toyota’s existing production capacity.” North America and Europe must “maximize productivity at existing plants and otherwise make the most of existing resources.” As predicted several times in the past, emerging markets will see an expansion of production capacity and much more localized product.

Also as previously mentioned, Toyota will cut the number of board members to 11 from 27 in June.

And what’s the bottom line? Toyoda is aiming for an operating profit of 1 trillion yen ($12 billion) and a profit margin of 5 percent. That would be double the 550 billion yen and 2.9 percent profit margin Toyota is expected to announce for the current fiscal, which ends on March 31. Toyoda would not say for when he expects these results.

At the sidelines of the press conference, The Nikkei [sub] picked up the hot tip that Toyota snatched Mark Hogan, former GM group vice president for advanced vehicle development, for their advisory committee. Hogan had left GM in 2004 to become president of Magna, but stepped down by the end of 2007.

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11 Comments on “Toyota’s Global Vision: More Exciting Cars, More Profits...”

  • avatar

    Mark is a good man.

  • avatar

    I’d love to see a powerful, efficient sport wagon/sedan thing with a stick. I know they won’t sell a lot of the stick, but when OEM’s need ‘excitement’ street cred, a stick option always crops up. I reference the Regal, CTS-V, and all applicable things Audi and BMW.

    A small pick-up would be nice, too. Something in the 84-88 no-name toyota truck size with an unspeakably torquey 4 banger diesel. I see these little buggers all over down in Oz and they drag around construction equipment that would make an F-450 wince.

    • 0 avatar

      regarding the small trucks with torque small engines – not gonna happen here because that would cut into the margin of selling overweight pigs for $60K+++.

  • avatar

    Well we can all agree it would be hard to be less exciting.
    I think the last time I was even intrigued by a Toyota proper was the landcruiser before the last redesign.  As far as actually excited, I think we would have to step back to the late 80’s and early 90’s with the semi-rally celicas and the supras, which, while not for me, were pretty alright.
    I think that Toyota should look to some of the more euro lexus styling cues, and consider going rear and all wheel drive.  I know I will not personally be in the market for anything FF anytime soon, particularly if i am looking for excitement.

  • avatar

    I hope they take that “more exciting” thing to heart.  Rented a 2011 Corolla for a week, and my wife came to visit where I was training and had rented a 2011 Elantra.  She took one look inside the Corolla and remarked at how “80’s” and cheap it looked.  The two-tone brown/tan interior of the Elantra was markedly more appealing, as was the exterior styling.  But then, Toyota doesn’t seem to be having too big of a problem selling them by the truckload, so what do I know?

    • 0 avatar

      After years of thrashing my Corolla around the city traffic, it has cost me only gas, oil changes and a set of tires.  That’s why I know what I’ll buy when it’s time for a new car.  And I think “80’s” and “cheap” is a little dramatic.  It is a much simpler ‘less busy’ interior than what the Elantra has.  The Elantra looks very nicely appointed, but it is also 3 years newer.

  • avatar

    I think you overlooked one of the bigger items … that Toyota is expecting to have worldwide sales of 10mm units in 2015.  Considering:

    1) They currently sit at a bit less than 8.5mm in 2010
    2) It is widely accepted that a majority of their quality problems were due to overexpansion and chasing GM in total sales

    I’m thinking this just doesn’t add up.  Everyone has been making inroads to their sales and quality reputation over the past couple of years, and I find it hard to believe they are going to experience a 20% sales increase in 3 to 4 years.
    Count me skeptical at best.

  • avatar

    The Toyota I would like to see, and one I would really buy, would be a reincarnation of the late ’70s to mid 80’s HiLux  4×4 with solid front axle. Preferably not as rust prone, maybe a little more horsepower.

  • avatar

    I certainly hope Toyota’s version of “genuinely exciting models” is differently executed than Hondacura’s version of putting “distinctive” or “aggressive” styling on the same blandmobiles.  A.k.a. today’s version of the Pontiac of the ’90s.

  • avatar

    Who cares about more exciting!?  I just want Toyota to keep building dependable, long-lasting, high-quality vehicles that offer value for the money, instead of going down the same path that Chrysler, GM and Ford have preceded them on.  Since Toyota started building their cars in the US the quality has tumbled to the same level as that of GM and Chrysler, and until just recently, Ford. But when Detroit started making their cars and trucks in Mexico, WOW!, the quality shot up.  Why is that!?  As has been suggested by others, maybe Toyota should pack up their sh it and move to Mexico.  It’s obvious it is working for their competition.

  • avatar

    I have to say that I like the look of the FJ Cruiser and the 4X4 V6 Tacoma, but as far as “interesting” models that are fuel efficient, Toyota doesn’t have a whole lot to offer… I always thought that’s what they had Scion for.

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