As prepared for:
AARP Ideas@50+ Conference
San Diego, CA
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Bob Carter, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Automotive Operations, Toyota Motor Sales
Thanks, Neal… and good afternoon everyone!
I hope you’ve had a GREAT A-A-R-P Conference.
They say a speaker should never get between an audience and a free meal… and I’ll bet that goes double when you’re giving away a free car. So I’m going to keep my remarks brief… and focus on three key points before we send someone home with the keys to this beautiful 2015 Camry.
Let’s start with Toyota’s commitment to safety.
For Toyota, building safe cars is just as important as building reliable cars that are fun to drive and look great. That’s not negotiable. It’s just part of what we do.
And Toyota’s commitment to safety is more than an empty pledge or a catchy marketing slogan. It’s something we think about all day… every day. It’s our job to provide the safest driving experience possible. And it’s a job we take very seriously.
How seriously? Well, we invest an average of more than 1-Million dollars per HOUR on research and development. In addition, our Collaborative Safety Research Center partners with universities, hospitals, research institutions and federal agencies across North America to work on nearly 30 safety research programs… aimed at developing and bringing to market new and advanced safety technologies that help reduce the number of traffic fatalities and injuries.
The even better news… we share our findings with federal agencies, academia and the auto industry… so ALL consumers can benefit no matter what vehicle they choose. Safety isn’t just a Toyota issue. It’s a driver issue. Everyone is affected.
And this year… we announced our newest safety initiative called – Go Safely – which highlights our Buckle Up for Life, TeenDrive365 and A-A-R-P Driver Safety programs for kids, teens and adults on the go.
Through Buckle Up For Life, parents and kids learn about the importance of seat belts and the safest ways to use car seats. We even provide families with brand new car seats if they need one. And it doesn’t matter what kind of car they drive.
I’m proud to say we’ve donated more than 40-Thousand car seats so far in 11 cities, and we’re investing another 6-Million dollars to reach a total of 17 cities by 2016.
For teenagers… statistics show automobile crashes are their leading cause of death, which is why we’re so proactive in helping to protect our youngest drivers.
Our TeenDrive365 program provides a collection of resources for teen drivers and their parents… so together they can witness the dangers of distracted driving first-hand.
And, of course, we’re worried about you too… that’s why we proudly sponsor the A-A-R-P Driver Safety program, the nation’s FIRST and LARGEST safety course designed specifically for drivers over the age of 50.
Last year, nearly 600-Thousand participants completed this Driver Safety program… and 97 percent reported changing at least one key driving behavior.
The A-A-R-P’s Driver Safety program will help you:
- Update your knowledge of the rules of the road…
- help you understand the effects of medications on driving…
- and here’s a bonus… Auto insurance companies in most states provide a multi-year discount to course graduates.
Along with our R&D investments and safety initiatives… Toyota continues to deliver vehicles that offer the highest standards in safety… there is no room for compromise.
Already this year, 13 Toyota… Lexus… and Scion vehicles received 5-Star Safety Ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration…
And we fully expect the new 2015 Camry to receive the 5-Star rating too.
Folks, as I said yesterday… Camry is the ALL-AMERICAN car.
- It was designed, engineered and manufactured RIGHT HERE in the U.S.A.
- And, for 12 years running… Camry has been AMERICA’s best-selling car.
But, to respond to our customers’ demands… we made it even BETTER.
We changed 90 percent of its sheet metal… overhauled the interior… and developed an array of advanced safety technologies to help create a safer travel experience for you, your passengers and pedestrians.
For instance… we all know how dangerous blind spots can be… especially when we’re trying to change lanes and a motorcycle zips past us on the side. I drive a motorcycle and even I can’t stand it when they do that. So we developed a “Blind Spot Monitor” that lights up in the side view mirror when a vehicle enters your blind spot.
There’s also a “Rear Cross-Traffic Alert” system to help you back out of those tight grocery store and doctor’s office parking spaces.
And a Lane Departure Alert… which warns you if your vehicle begins to move out of its lane… and adjusts the car’s steering and braking when necessary to stay within the lane.
Ladies and gentlemen… you can see why I’m so crazy about this car. It really is the best Camry we’ve ever built.
And right now…I’m going to give one away!
Sitting in front of me…are five lucky A-A-R-P members who signed up at the Toyota display to win the Camry.
And each of our five finalists received a 200-Dollar gas card.
Now, we’re ready to select our grand prize winner from these five.
On behalf of Toyota and the Southern California Toyota Dealers’ Association… the winner of this 2015 Toyota Camry is…Raymond Lee!
Well, folks… thank you for coming… and let’s make a commitment to raise awareness about driver safety for yourself… your families… and your friends… and TOGETHER… let’s go places safely for a long and happy life.