2009 Washington D.C. Auto Show

February 03, 2009
Irv Miller Remarks
Washington DC Auto Show
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
 
Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to the 2009 Washington DC Auto Show.
 
More importantly, welcome to 2009…
  • a year that I believe…
  • will mark the historic beginning of a new era….
  • of change…and of hope….
  • for our country… for our global economy…
  • and for our automotive industry.


Never have we seen a year of such economic turmoil as we did in 2008. And hopefully we will…never again.

And yet, for all the uncertainty that remains…
  • I believe there are few of us here today…
  • who don’t believe our economy and our industry…
  • will emerge, stronger and smarter…
  • and more vital than ever before.


Now, more than ever…
  • while we are so focused…
  • on the pressing issues of the moment…(pause)
  • we must not lose sight of our future.


Nowhere is this more important…
  • than with our industry’s duty and commitment…
  • to provide sustainable mobility…(pause)
  • with vehicles that reduce fuel consumption…
  • overall greenhouse gases…
  • and smog-forming emissions


I’ve been quoted as having said…that last summer’s 4-dollar-and 50-cent-a-gallon gasoline was no anomaly.
That it was, in fact, a brief glimpse of our future.
 
Guilty as charged…and now, more certain than ever.
 
Officially, the automobile as we know it is 100 years-old.
 
And for nearly its entire history…it has run on liquid petroleum fuel.
 
Within the next 10-20 years, we will not only reach peak oil….
  • we will enter a period where demand for all liquid fuels …
  • will exceed supply.


Before that occurs…
  • we must be well-on-our-way to addressing…
  • the four key components of sustainable mobility;
the vehicle technologies, themselves…
 
the urban environment in which they operate…
 
the energy to fuel them…
 
And the innovative partnerships that will be needed to bring all of these together.
 
Specifically…100 years after the invention of the automobile,
  • we must re-invent it …
  • with powertrains that significantly reduce or eliminate…
  • the use of conventional petroleum fuels.


We must address the urban design in which these new vehicles will operate…
  • developing clustered refueling and recharging infrastructure…
  • while tailoring individual mixed mobility strategies on a regional basis…
  • from high-volume mass transit…to individual city cars.


To do that, we must form partnerships …
  • between business, government , academia and industry.


And…we must make hard choices on energy and transportation.

Will our electricity come from coal…
  • or a combination of wind, solar and natural gas? (pause)


And if we use this electricity for vehicles…
  • do we have the necessary infrastructure to charge them…
  • and a grid smart enough and robust enough to live up to customer expectations.


Rather than allow current economic conditions…
  • to delay our progress…
  • in advancing sustainable mobility…
  • Toyota is accelerating the pace…and scope…
  • of its roll-out of advanced technology vehicles.


Rather than reduce its R&D budget for advanced environmental technology…
  • Toyota will increase it.


Last year, we announced that we would deliver…
  • lithium-battery-powered
  • plug-in hybrid vehicles
  • to global lease-fleet customers in early 2010.


That schedule has been moved up. Beginning in December of this year,
  • we will begin delivery of 500 …next-generation Prius plug-in hybrids
  • powered by lithium-ion batteries.


150 of these initial vehicles will be placed with U.S. lease-fleet customers.

The first-generation lithium-ion battery that powers these “PHVs”…
  • will be built on an assembly line…
  • at Toyota’s battery plant,
  • a joint-venture production facility with Panasonic EV Energy…
  • in which Toyota owns 60 percent equity.


This initial plug-in hybrid program will be used for market and engineering analysis.

Participants will monitor the performance and durability…
  • of a first-generation lithium-ion battery…
  • while offering real world feedback…
  • on how future customers might respond to the plug-in process.


Future customers will have high expectations for these emerging technologies.

This Prius PHV fleet program…
  • is a key first step in confirming…
  • how and when we might bring large numbers of plug-in hybrids…
  • to global markets.


Three weeks ago in Detroit, we unveiled…
  • the all-new third-generation…50MPG… Prius…
  • and the all-new Lexus HS250…
  • dedicated gas-electric hybrids.


Toyota was first-to-market with hybrids …and is by far the world’s leader in hybrid sales.

It is...and will remain…our core technology.

Last year, we sold nearly 430,000 gas-electric hybrids, worldwide. Early in the next decade…we will sell a million hybrids per year globally.

To accomplish this,
  • we will launch no-less-than 10…
  • new gas-electric hybrid models in that time frame.


These will not include next-generation versions of current hybrid models like the all-new Prius.

Instead, they will be…
  • all-new dedicated hybrid vehicles…like the new Lexus HS250h
  • or all-new hybrid versions of existing gas-engine models.


To make sure we have the nickel-metal batteries needed to meet this volume,
  • PEVE battery will have two separate production facilities…
  • with a combined battery production capacity…
  • of more than one million a year by early 2010. (pause)


Hybrids…whether conventional, or plug-in…are only part of the story.

About 20 years ago, Toyota began serious R&D on building a practical and affordable hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

It’s been a long road. But Toyota operates with a long view.

And although component cost-reduction…
  • and the development of a hydrogen re-fueling infrastructure,
  • remain the key obstacles…
  • we are on target---and committed…
  • to bring a fuel-cell vehicle…to global markets…in 2015. (pause)


Ten years ago, we introduced the RAV4 EV, battery-electric vehicle in California…in compliance with the state’s Zero-Emission Mandate.

At the time…
  • the market…the consumer…
  • and our collective environmental mind-set
  • were not ready to buy-in…
  • to the whole battery-electric concept.


Quickly…completely…and for the better… times have changed.

So much so that…
  • Toyota will bring a lithium-ion…
  • battery-electric vehicle to market…
  • In various regions of the world…
  • by the year, 2012.


And…it just might…
  • look something like the Toyota FT-EV concept
  • we have on display here today.


Of course, between now and 2012…there is much…much work to be done…
  • on developing a battery…
  • that will live up to customer expectations…
  • for range…durability…and cost.


This urban-commuter-concept targets a 50-mile range between chargings.

Is that range sufficient?

Would buyers sacrifice roominess for larger batteries and longer range?

And, how will we develop an infrastructure…
  • for thousands of EV---and PHV owners…
  • whose cell-phone mentality
  • will demand any-time/any-place recharging access…
  • at anaffordable price?


These are questions that will be answered…
  • not by any single car company…
  • but by our industry…
  • in partnership…
  • with other industries…government…and academia.


Our business…right now…
  • is no-longer about…
  • simply building and selling cars and trucks.


It is about finding solutions to mobility challenges today…
  • and being prepared…
  • for even-more-daunting challenges…
  • in our very-near future.


In Toyota’s view…it is time to work in concert…
  • with federal and state stakeholders
  • to establish a single national program
  • to significantly raise fuel economy…
  • and significantlyreduce CO2,
  • greenhouse gases and smog-forming emissions.


To accomplish this, our industry needs…

· both certainty …and continuity in CAFÉ regulation…
  • across all 50 states…
  • through at least 2015.


By doing so,
  • we can proceed with the development…
  • of a fleet of vehicles…
  • that meets---and hopefully---exceeds…
  • the expectations of both our customers…and regulators.


Because in the end,
  • we must put the focus back where it belongs;
  • on the consumer.


I am often asked to explain…
  • the popularity of the Prius with mainstream consumers…..
  • and how it became such an environmental icon.


My answer…
  • is that there are thousands of considerations that are made…
  • when you develop a new concept.


Nail each one…and you have an icon.

Miss on a few…and it’s just another car.

Prius means …”to go before”…”to precede”…to establish a beginning.

This year, we launch a new Prius…
  • we welcome a new administration to Washington…
  • and we begin a new era for our industry.


Welcome to 2009.

Thank you all for joining us today. Please enjoy your lunch…and the rest of the show.
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