Toyota Geneva MS Speech
Toyota On-Stand Press Conference
Geneva Motor Show – 5 - 6 March 2017
Dr. Johan Van Zyl, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Europe
Pierre Romeo, i-TRIL Chief Designer
I know many of you travelled from all over Europe - and from around the world - to be here with us today.So I would like to thank you and warmly welcome you to Toyota.
Regarding our European sales results in 2016, you received our press release in January. It is on our media website, so you know how pleased we are with our progress.
Toyota Motor Europe outperformed the market last year, selling more than 928,000 units, a 6% increase over previous year. And we are set to grow even more in ‘17, as our January and February sales results prove.
More and more, we are differentiating ourselves in the European market with our wide Hybrid model range. Our Hybrid sales increased by more than 40% last year, and now represent one third of our sales in Europe.
Actually, official statistics show that Toyota and Lexus Hybrids are the main contributors to the increase of alternative powertrains in Europe.
You know that Toyota is not going for growth at any cost. It must be profitable and sustainable.
And it is! In the first 9 months of our fiscal year, our operating profit in Europe increased 18% from 378 Mil. euro to 446 Mil. euro.
Toyota has exciting times ahead! Not only because of the new products, but also for important initiatives linked to our company philosophy of contributing to the global society, beyond producing and selling quality cars.
Think of our partnership with the Olympics and Paralympic Games for example. It’s not a traditional sponsorship at all. And, we are not doing this for commercial purposes. Instead, we want to truly embrace the Olympic values within our Company values such as, “individual and collective effort”, “fair play”, “stretching ourselves beyond current capabilities” and “healthy competition”.
Because only through these values can we improve who we are as people, and as a company. As the exclusive Mobility provider of the Olympics and Paralympics Games for the next eight years until 2024, we will showcase clean and efficient mobility solutions like the hydrogen-powered Mirai, which supports both the Olympic theme of sustainability and our roadmap towards zero emissions, as committed in Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050.
We will also contribute with various advanced intelligent transport systems for urban traffic, including vehicle-to-vehicle communications. In other words, it’s Toyota’s way of giving back to Society.
But ladies and gentlemen, you will not have to wait for the Olympics to see the future. The first product I’m introducing to you is the concept of a new type of electric and automated vehicle. A vehicle that takes a different look at how we move around in towns and cities, that anticipates the future mobility needs of society and the modern generation. It’s smart, elegant and great fun to drive.
Ladies and gentlemen – the revolutionary 3-seater, i-TRIL! For i-TRIL we went to the South of France, to Nice where we have ED², our European Design Centre. We asked our Designers and Engineers to get out of their offices, to go and observe our target younger audience, and then to be ready to answer what will future generations expect from us?”.
The team worked hard, met, discussed and challenged each other. And this is their answer. Let me invite on stage Pierre Romeo, the i-TRIL chief designer @ ED2.
Hey Pierre, this vehicle looks great! Congratulations. So what does the future have in store for us?
Thanks Johan, in a word I think the future is all about variety, allowing mobility to become more specific to what people really want, rather than just a general, “one size fits all”.
If you’re living in the city, commuting, running the kids to school, shopping, but you still want to have a bit of fun, then this is the answer for you.
I understand. Tell us a bit more. Is this really a three seater even for grown-ups? I can’t believe it.
Well, it’s basically a 1+2 concept, with the driver up front and the 2 rear seats offset either side. Plenty of leg space for everyone, and a completely open, panoramic view forward dedicated to the driver. It has an electric powertrain good for more than 200 km range in real life and is ready for the autonomous era. The whole interior is designed to create a welcoming fun and relaxed space for all the passenger.
What is it like to drive it leans in the curves. Have you learned from the i-ROAD concept?
Absolutely, we’re building on the experience of the i-ROAD where even at low speeds you get a really exciting and completely new driving experience from the lean. In a word it’s fun, anytime, anywhere.
OK, thank you Pierre and congratulations to you and the team.
So, clean and sustainable, compact and dynamic, cool, agile – and fun! i-TRIL brings to life Toyota’s vision of the future urban mobility in Europe. But now to the exciting present! At the Paris Motor Show just a few months ago, Akio Toyoda announced we were stepping up our activities in motorsport. Not only to promote our brand,.but also to improve our internal skills and products. Since January this year, Toyota re-entered the World Rally Championship with two very special Yaris rally cars!
The Yaris WRC is born in our French factory, but grown and developed in Finland by the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Team led by Tommi Mäkinen. Following its outstanding performance in both Monte-Carlo and Sweden, the Yaris WRC has well taken its first steps, and ready to face the remaining 11 challenges ahead.
Through Motorsports, we’re committed to creating ‘Ever Better Cars’ for our customers on the road. Better to drive, better to own and better suited to our changing world. In this context let me introduce our latest product for Europe, the 2017 Yaris, here just behind me. With much improved interior sensory quality and refinement, ED2 designed it with Europe’s specific flavor, while our European R&D engineers spiced up its driving dynamics.
The all-new ESTEC 1.5 liter petrol engine is capable to switch from the Otto to the Atkinson cycle (and vice versa) in a fraction of a second, delivering impressive torque and acceleration, alongside outstanding fuel economy. And of course, we always pursue the democratisation of safety for our drivers, passengers and all road users with the standardization of the acclaimed “Toyota Safety Sense” package, which includes among others an advanced Pre Collision System with Automatic Emergency braking.
The model you see here on stage is the hybrid version. And that’s no coincidence! It’s already been 20 years of Toyota hybrid! We just reached our 10 millionth hybrid sale globally! In the B-segment still no one else offers hybrid. Yet, Yaris Hybrid is the public’s favorite choice, accounting for 40% of all Yaris sales in Europe. Yaris is an important contributor to our overall hybrid sales mix of 32%, putting us firmly on track towards our goal of 50% hybrid mix by 2020.
Thanks to our proactive European lifecycle management, innovation, technological upgrades, re-designs and hybrid powertrain strategy, this 3rd generation Yaris has been gaining segment share, keeping our existing customers satisfied and loyal, and attracting the hearts of many conquest customers.
This car is a winner on the track and for our customers!!
Now, ladies and gentlemen, before closing, we have one more surprise in store for you. Our customers, dealers, and even many journalists today present, have been asking us:
* When will Toyota come back with a great hot hatch?
* How to share a bit more of the super exciting WRC experience?
* How to make racing more accessible?
Today, it is my great pleasure to provide you the answer. Ladies and gentlemen, the Yaris GRMN.
Waoh! This car makes my heart rate go wild!! Ladies and gentlemen let me thank Tada san, the Chief Engineer, for such an emotional Yaris!
With its rigid body, its retuned suspension, its enhanced braking system, streamlined aerodynamics and sporty interiors, this super exciting Yaris takes our rally car credentials, and puts them on the road.
Its super-charged 1.8L petrol engine produces more than 210hp. That means it can hit 100km/h in a fraction over six seconds – the best acceleration in its class! And believe it or not, it will be produced in Europe, in TMMF in Valenciennes and exported outside Europe!
Now, we know the “B- hot hatch” segment is quite small in Europe. But this car is for those enthusiasts who look for unique driving excitement and, as we call it Waku Doki. It will be an exclusive product, produced in a very limited series, making it even more special!
So ladies and gentlemen, this is only the beginning, but believe me, it is the beginning of an exciting journey!!! Thank you very much for being with us today.
Let me now ask Pierre and Tada-san to join me on stage for a photograph or two.
Thank you again.