Toyota Canada Inc., hosted its annual corporate dinner in Toronto in the lead-up to the Canadian International Auto Show. Larry Hutchinson, President and CEO, Toyota Canada, spoke about how, in the industry’s race towards autonomous vehicles, some automakers have forgotten one very important truth: People still like to drive.
“Why have so many automakers lost their passion for driving,” he asked. “They seem to be so focused on the ‘next big thing’ - on the self-driving electric pod – they’re forgetting that driving is fun.” Instead, Toyota is focused on creating vehicles that are engaging and fun to drive. “As other automakers are working on vehicles that drive themselves - turning us into passive passengers - we’re incorporating advanced automated safety technologies in ways that enhance, rather than deaden, the driving experience.”
Instead of replacing the driver behind the wheel, Toyota’s Guardian approach is a teamwork concept that sees advanced automated safety technologies act as their personal co-pilot, enhancing their awareness and control of the vehicle, and helping them be a better driver.
Hutchinson believes that, in the future, cars will be more fun to drive, not less so, and emphasized that Toyota’s recent approach has been to build better, more exciting vehicles for people who love to drive.
“Lots of people will tell you the future of mobility is one of robotic, shared use vehicles… of autonomous pods and anonymous pod people,” he stated. “I don’t believe in pods.”
Toyota Canada just launched its all-new 2019 Rav4 back in December, which is built at the TMMC Woodstock Plant. The new Rav4 comes available in a hybrid version, which the company anticipates to be its best seller. Larry reminded guests that “Toyota is committed to its future in Canada.”
Toyota is also celebrating its eight 1st place wins for the 2019 Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value awards that were announced this week. Toyota took first place in the sub-compact, compact, mid-size, full-size, full-size pick-up, small pick-up, minivan, and mid-size crossover/SUV categories.