Mr. Toyoda acknowledged the tremendous disaster that struck Japan on March 11, 2011 and thanked dealers for their extraordinary support and donations. Together, Toyota dealers and friends have contributed $11.5 million to Japan disaster relief.
Mr. Toyoda emphasized his focus on product and the company’s core philosophies that will make Toyota better than ever. Other themes from his speech included:
- The all-new 2012 Camry and Camry Hybrid. Designed to meet the changing needs of the 21st Century driver, the new Camry will provide technologically advanced features, a contemporary design inside and out, improved performance and refined ride and handling.
- Future vision of mobility. New technology offerings like the all-new RAV4 EV and telematics advancements stemming from the Microsoft alliance will help make Toyota’s vehicles even better.
- Greater regional autonomy. Calling it his “most important goal,” Mr. Toyoda stated he will empower those with local knowledge to make their own decisions.
- Recovery from the disaster has far exceeded expectations. In Japan, production is expected to return to normal levels after July. In North America, eight locally-built models, including Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, Sequoia, Sienna and Venza returned to 100 percent production in early June. The remaining four North-American built models, including Tundra, Tacoma, RAV4 and Lexus RX, will return to 100 percent beginning in September.
- Prius family launch remains on track. Prius dominates the hybrid market with over 50% market share. With the launch of Prius family, Toyota is capitalizing on that brand strength and providing all the benefits of Prius in a variety of vehicles. Prius v, which arrives this fall, has SUV like cargo capability, nearly 60% more than the current Prius, but still is expected to deliver estimated EPA fuel economy ratings of 42 mpg combined. The Prius c compact, arriving in the spring of 2012, offers expressive styling in a city-friendly vehicle that we believe will be the most fuel efficient hybrid in the U.S.
- Advanced technology vehicles. New, advanced vehicles arriving in 2012 include the Prius plug-in hybrid, RAV4 EV and Scion iQ EV. Toyota has committed to putting a fuel cell vehicle on the road by 2015, and is researching bio-fuels and next-generation materials to help make vehicles that will be lighter, safe and more fuel-efficient.
- Investment in North America. Our new plant in Mississippi opening this fall will build 150,000 Corollas per year, create 2,000 jobs and represents Toyota’s faith in the North American market.
- State-of-the-art multimedia. Toyota’s new Entune system, which will feature simple, seamless functionality and is compatible with virtually every smart phone, will debut this fall in the new Prius v and Camry.