Driven by its values of continuous improvement and respect for people, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) made the most of 2023.
In 2023, Toyota made it a year to remember with accomplishments and key milestones that showed the company’s advances in the future of mobility. Whether it was following its values of continuous improvement or respect for people, or through product and technological innovations, Toyota took bold steps forward, with electrification and sustainability taking center stage.
To celebrate Toyota’s people, products and values, here’s a look back on what Toyota accomplished in 2023:
The Road to Carbon Neutrality
This year was an exceptional one for electrification and taking steps toward carbon neutrality. Toyota announced efforts to expand electrified vehicle development capability in the U.S. with a new automotive battery lab at its North American R&D headquarters in York Township, Michigan. Planned to open in 2025, the lab will evaluate batteries for both all-electric and hybrid, including plug-in hybrid electric, vehicles, as well as support Toyota manufacturing at plants in North Carolina and Kentucky. To further ramp up the production of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), LG Energy Solution signed an agreement with Toyota to supply 20-GWh of lithium-ion battery modules to be used in Toyota BEVs that will be assembled in in Kentucky.
TMNA and FuelCell Energy, Inc. announced the completion of construction for the first-of-its-kind “Tri-gen system,” which produces renewable electricity, renewable hydrogen and water from directed biogas. Tri-gen is an example of FuelCell’s ability to scale hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology, an increasingly important energy solution in the global effort to reduce carbon emissions.
In April, Toyota announced it was granted a Zero Emission Powertrain (ZEP) Executive Order from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its new heavy-duty fuel cell electric powertrain, offering an alternative for companies looking to transition their fleets to zero-emission vehicles. Then, in May, Toyota and PACCAR, the truck original equipment manufacturer, announced plans to integrate Toyota’s fuel cell modules and powertrain kits into Kenworth and Peterbilt Class 8 heavy-duty trucks.
To put Toyota’s sustainability efforts to the test, engineers and data scientists at the software company Toyota Connected North America (TCNA) conducted a week-long study about “eco mode” to show how drivers of different kinds of vehicles can contribute toward carbon reduction. The estimated collective impact of the emissions reduced by study participants was the equivalent of 5,091 gallons of gasoline saved!
Below, read more about Toyota’s electrification and carbon neutrality progress in 2023:
- Toyota Launches ‘Electrified Diversified’ Beyond Zero Campaign
- Which Toyota Electric Vehicle is Right for You?
- Toyota Research Institute of North America Recognizes 15 Years of Accomplishments
- Toyota ‘Empact’ Vision Addresses Sustainability, EV Charging Equity in Underserved Communities
- “Uno” Looks to Provide Toyota with More Ways to Fight Carbon
- Collaborations Show There’s More to Electrification Than BEVs
An Eye on the Environment
In renewable energy progress related to company operations, Toyota announced its enrollment in MIGreenPower, DTE Energy’s voluntary renewable energy program. The program puts the company’s Michigan operations on a path to attribute 100% of its electricity use to renewable energy projects starting in 2026, including the R&D headquarters in Ann Arbor, along with six other facilities across Washtenaw County. Elsewhere, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky announced that it agreed to offtake 100 megawatts of electricity generated as part of a new power purchase agreement with Savion and the Martin Country Solar Project, a project that converts a brownfield coal mining site to produce clean, renewable solar energy.
In alignment with its sustainability goals, Toyota announced and started programs in conjunction with external community partners, such as Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots youth program, focusing on growing engagement to raise awareness of biodiversity in local communities around several Toyota manufacturing plants.
For the latest information on the company’s environmental sustainability strategy and performance, check out the 2024 Toyota North American Environmental Sustainability Report. Additional stories can be found on Toyota’s Environmental Sustainability website, like these:
- Collaborating for Clean Energy at Toyota’s North Alabama Engine Plant
- Toyota Manufacturing Plants Help Further Realize the Company’s Commitment of Respect for the Planet
- Toyota West Virginia Never Sheepish on Ren-EWE-able Energy
- Solar Power Continues to Bloom at Toyota West Virginia
- Toyota’s Blossoming Commitment: Nurturing Biodiversity Through Bees and Butterflies
All New, All Year
CALTY, Toyota’s design research studio (Calty), celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023 and as part of the milestone, announced a surprise reveal of the Baby Lunar Cruiser Concept, the latest in a long line of innovative ideas dreamed up by the Calty design team.
Two Toyota legends were announced as all-new for the 2024 model year, with a return of the iconic Land Cruiser and a complete redesign of the beloved Tacoma.
The Land Cruiser made its triumphant comeback as a high-quality off-roader that leans into its roots as a highly capable utility vehicle – all while sporting a throwback design. It will be available in three grades: Land Cruiser 1958, Land Cruiser, and the limited run Land Cruiser First Edition. And it will be exclusively powered by an i-FORCE MAX turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain that produces up to 326 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Tacoma, champion of the midsize pickup truck market, was also unveiled as all-new for 2024. Entering its fourth generation, the new Tacoma is completely redesigned from the ground up with a new frame, body style, new powertrain options, including an i-FORCE 2.4L turbo and i-FORCE MAX hybrid, as well as interior, suspension, technology updates, and more. Tacoma will be offered in numerous grades and configurations for its new generation, with i-FORCE MAX models going on sale in December of 2023.
Both models were also on display at Toyota’s SEMA showcase this year, where the Tacoma won the 2023 SEMA Midsize Truck of the Year award. At the show, Toyota debuted a modernized X-Runner Concept, that was a throwback to the street trucks of the early 2000’s. Based on the all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma, the concept was equipped with a twin-turbo V6 capable of 421 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of peak torque, making it a worthy of any enthusiast’s dreams. Toyota also debuted the “TRD Pro Time Attack,” a high-speed, off-road simulator created by TCNA. The game showcased the innovative IsoDynamic Performance Seats found in the all-new 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.
In addition, the first-ever 2024 Grand Highlander also made its world-premiere in 2023 and went on sale over the summer. Substantially designed by Calty and exclusively assembled at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing plant in Princeton, Indiana, the Grand Highlander has a spacious, adult-sized third row and thoughtful storage areas throughout the cabin. Available in three powertrains across three grades, with available AWD, the first-ever Grand Highlander brings a beautifully packaged SUV that’s road-trip ready.
To round out the calendar year, the ninth generation of the Toyota Camry was revealed in November. Featuring a fresh new look, enhanced performance capabilities, an exclusively hybrid powertrain, and available AWD, the new Camry will hit the streets next Spring. The first-ever 2025 Toyota Crown Signia was also revealed, adding a new dimension to the celebrated Toyota Crown nameplate. The new model adds a distinctive crossover SUV to the U.S. lineup, which brings style, utility, and versatility as an elegant, 100% hybrid and AWD vehicle. The Crown Signia will be available in the Summer of 2024.
Looking for more information on vehicle updates for the 2024 model year? Check out the Toyota What’s New for 2024 landing page.
A new format also made its debut on the Toyota Newsroom this year, allowing visitors to test their knowledge on the latest Toyota vehicles on the market:
- Test Your Knowledge of the 2023 Toyota Sequoia
- Test Your Knowledge of the First-Ever Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
- Test Your Knowledge of the 2023 Toyota Crown
Toyota’s manufacturing plants experienced a year full of exciting achievements, including the 20th anniversaries of both Toyota Texas and Toyota Tennessee. Not to be outdone, Toyota Kentucky shared two big announcements this past year, ramping up the company’s commitment to electrification with plans to assemble an all-new three-row battery-electric SUV and the announcement of a new flexible engine production line at the plant to increase its hybrid capabilities.
Off the line, Toyota’s employees are hard at work bettering the communities where they are located. Through community donations and investing in operations, training and schools, Toyota’s U.S. plants spent 2023 helping to create a more sustainable future.
To learn a little more about what Toyota’s manufacturing plants were up to in 2023, read the featured stories below:
- Now Open! Why These 5 Toyota Plant Experience Centers Are ‘Must Visits’
- 10 Things to Know: Toyota’s New Battery Manufacturing Plant in North Carolina
- Toyota Mississippi Puts High School Students to Work
Respect for People
Behind all of these incredible accomplishments are the people of Toyota who work to shape the company’s values every day. Taking on a new role is Tellis Bethel, Toyota’s newly appointed chief diversity officer, who spent 15 years with Toyota Financial Services and is using his experience to continue TMNA’s strategic investments in the community and in its culture of inclusion.
In May, Toyota published its 2023 Toyota North America Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report, which shares Toyota’s commitment to ever-better inclusivity at all levels through four key areas of focus: Identity, Belonging, Community and Possibility.
Toyota’s pillar Respect for People and Working for Others extends beyond its diversity and inclusion efforts. It also includes the support available for its employees, like the employee-driven business partnering groups (BPGs) and available career options for both new and current employees.
Toyota also encourages its people to explore different career journeys at the company, supporting its philosophy of continuous learning.
Employees also shared about their experience in celebrating moments and passions that are personal to them, which can be learned more about in the stories below:
- Celebrating Black History Month: Toyota and Lexus Employees Share Their Reflections
- Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Toyota Employees Share Their Experiences and Reflections
- Celebrating Pride Month: Toyota Employees Reflect on Their Experiences
- Women in Tech: A Discussion about Diversity in the Workplace
- Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: TODOS Drives Prosperity, Power, and Progress
- Toyota Employees Share Why They’re Dedicated to Help Further Amplify the Disability Community’s Voices and Visibility
A Focus on Community
This year, Fair360 (formerly known as DiversityInc) named Toyota North America one of its 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity®, ranking 4th among more than 150 companies that participated in the survey. It’s the second year in a row for Toyota to rank 4th and the company continues to be the only automotive manufacturer ranked in the Top 10. Toyota was also included on 15 of the Top 25 Specialty Lists, further highlighting Toyota’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Toyota North America was also recognized in The Civic 50 as a top community-minded company in the U.S. It was the first year both Toyota Financial Services and TMNA collectively ranked in The Civic 50 as a unified submission.
With an eye on the workforce of the future, the Toyota USA Foundation’s Driving Possibilities initiative is working to contribute to student success in a holistic, community-focused approach to STEM learning. The initiative puts PreK to 12th grade students in the driver’s seat with access to educational programs while addressing essential needs for learning. In 2023, Driving Possibilities programs were announced for schools near Toyota facilities in Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky and Michigan.
Additionally, Toyota launched the Way Forward Fund this year. It is a multi-year initiative aimed at strengthening access to care and injury recovery support, with an initial focus on children with traumatic brain injuries.
Dive deeper into Toyota’s community engagements with the stories below:
- Three Hispanic Student Scholars Awarded the Toyota Nunca Pares Scholarship
- Back to School: Toyota Gives Back to Students in Need
- Team Toyota Athlete Alana Nichols Shares Passion for Child Passenger Safety in Collaboration with Buckle Up for Life
- Celebrating 30 Years of the Toyota Production System Support Center
- Toyota Student Mentoring Program Engages, Empowers and Elevates West Dallas Youth
Celebrating Team Toyota
All things Team Toyota shifted into high gear in 2023. At the beginning of the year, Toyota kicked off a new motorsports campaign, “Be Part of Something Greater,” which tells the story of Toyota’s support of competitive sports. The spots, which include motorsports drivers and Olympic and Paralympic athletes, let viewers experience the thrill of the race, no matter the sport.
In other sports news, Toyota signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with the National Football League, becoming the official automotive partner of the NFL. The Olympic and Paralympic Team Toyota athletes began the ramp-up to Paris 2024, with Toyota adding Gabby Thomas and Ezra Frech to the roster.
On the track, Team Toyota drivers dominated the podium this year, earning Toyota landmark milestones like its 600th NASCAR national series win and 200 event wins in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. At the inaugural season of the GR Cup, Tyler Gonzales of Copeland Motorsports took home the championship for Toyota Gazoo Racing North America.
Below, get to know a few of the incredible drivers and athletes who make Team Toyota great:
- Toyota Racing
- Olympics and Paralympics
While 2023 was transformative for Toyota, its accomplishments and innovations put the company on the path for an even more incredible year to come.
Originally published December 14, 2023