Toyota Press Conference speech – Geneva 2012
Didier Leroy, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe
Good morning everyone and welcome to Toyota.
When I spoke to you in Frankfurt last September, the economy was uncertain.
6 months later the market conditions are even more challenging. But, I am delighted to say that
Toyota is on the way up again in Europe.
In 2011 we sold more cars than in 2010 despite the problems we faced after the Tsunami and the
flooding in Thailand.
And this year we are planning to record another sales increase helping us towards our mid-term
target of 1 million units per year.
We have recovered thanks to the quality of our products and the passionate commitment of our
people. And we remain committed to our guiding principle of always making better cars.
This is reflected in our new brand positioning “Always a better way”, which I’m sure you have noticed
on our stand and in the new exciting products on display.
More than ever before, they are going to shape our image in the months and years to come.
Let me start with the fantastic GT86. Some of you are aware of Toyota’s rich sports car history …cars
such as the 2000GT…the Supra…and the Celica.
With nearly 5 million vehicles sold worldwide, we have a rich heritage.
Now the GT86 is reviving our passion for sports cars. Not just on race tracks, but on the road as well.
Its weight is less than 1.2 tonnes, it has a very low centre of gravity, rear wheel drive and a great power
to weight ratio.
The GT86 delivers pure driving pleasure and creates a strong emotional connection between driver
It is competitively priced across Europe and will attract people who never realised they could afford
such a fun car.
Initial media coverage has been fantastic and we’re extremely pleased that you share our passion.
But that’s not all. We have another exciting arrival to show you.
A few weeks ago we made history. We matched our passion for motorsport with our hybrid know-how
to create the TS030 hybrid which will take us back to Le Mans for the first time since 1999.
Unfortunately our schedule does not allow the car to be here today, but I’m sure that you will be
impressed when you see it emerging from the pit lane in electric mode before the V8 engine explodes
It shows how well full hybrid technology and racing go together. Our commitment to ‘Always better
cars’ can also be seen in how we are going to again lead the way in environmental technology.
Hybrid Synergy Drive® will play a strong role in our next-generation products. So let me introduce
three new concepts for clean mobility built around our hybrid leadership. A fuel cell vehicle, a plug in
hybrid and a small car that delivers reduced emissions at an affordable cost.
Let’s start with the fuel cell, our FCV-R concept. It represents a big step towards the ultimate eco-car,
a car with zero emissions. “R” stands for both Reality and Revolution.
‘Reality’ means getting right the packaging, the driving range and the ease of use. It also means we are
getting ready to offer this ultra-clean car to a wider audience. Our plan is to launch a fuel cell product by
2015, and we are preparing to be able to produce tens-of-thousands per year in the 2020s.
We will be ready, and we’re working with partners to make sure the market will be ready too. That’s why
“R” also stands for ‘Revolution’. Europe needs a new recharging infrastructure, and progress is being
made particularly in Scandinavia, the UK and Germany.
At the same time we will explore the potential of a second concept. The next-generation plug-in hybrid:
the Toyota NS4. We believe that by 2015 plug-in hybrid technology will have evolved further.
Our goal is to develop a next-generation system smaller in size and lighter in weight. It will have
improved fuel economy, better acceleration and longer all-electric range – all with a short charging time.
And here is our third concept an ultra-efficient compact vehicle making its world premiere today. The
Toyota FT-Bh – One year ago we challenged our engineers and designers to come up with a small
super-efficient car at an affordable cost, reinforcing our environmental leadership in the coming years.
FT-Bh is the result.
A full hybrid 4-seater less than 4 meters long. This concept shows what can be done when every
aspect of the car is designed to reduce emissions. In fact it combines full hybrid efficiency, advanced
aerodynamics and ultra-lightness. All achieved at a cost-level appropriate for a high-volume B-segment
With a weight of less than 800 kilos – it doesn’t use expensive materials. It is anticipated to deliver fuel
consumption of around 2 litres per 100 kilometers. And CO
emissions are projected at below
50 grammes. That’s less than half the current B segment average.
Having achieved such impressive results in a small car, we will be able to transfer the benefits to larger
Today, our environmental position is already recognised. Toyota and Lexus lead the industry.
The European Commission and the European Environmental Agency have just confirmed it. They say
average of 112 grammes is the lowest of any manufacturer. Our long-term commitment to full
hybrid technology has helped to make this possible.
We have now sold more than 400,000 hybrids in Europe and we will pass 4 million worldwide in the next
But we are not stopping there. Soon our full hybrid range will further expand with the 7-seater Prius+.
It will generate a best-in-class CO
of only 96 grammes.
Our Prius Plug-In Hybrid has the shortest charging time of any plug-in hybrid, a 25 kilometer electric
driving range and the assurance of the most economical full hybrid system.
Along with Prius and Auris Hybrid, these vehicles will give us a strong environmental advantage – in the
C and D segments. Very soon, we are going to bring the benefits of full hybrid to the largest customer
group in Europe: the B segment.
We’re going to do it by launching the new Yaris Hybrid. A car which integrates full hybrid technology
without losing any of the Yaris’ strong points. The design is aspirational and as a Yaris, it still delivers big
space in one of the most compact packages in its segment. It’s easy-to-drive, smooth and agile.
Just perfect for the city.
The Yaris Hybrid will lead the segment on emissions with just 79 grammes and almost no particulates or
NOx. It will also be the most affordable full hybrid. It will have an attractive starting price and with a low
cost of ownership it will be cheap to run.
This combination of good looks, advanced technology, agility and economy will create a revolution in
the B segment.
The first markets will start receiving Yaris Hybrid at the end of May. We expect a high demand for this
car. That’s why our factory in France recently added a third shift to maximise supply. And it will become
our second full hybrid manufacturing facility in Europe. This again re-inforces our commitment to this
technology in Europe.
As you can see today, we have the fighting spirit and our new product rollout is progressing fast.
We will continue to produce cars with world-leading technology in our plants in Europe.
And we will continue to grow profitably here – towards our short-term objective of 1 million cars per
year. I already told you 1 year ago that Toyota is back and 2012 will show you that Toyota is definitely