Toyota CEO: ‘stop building boring cars’
Toyota CEO wants company to ‘stop building boring cars’, and make vehicles ‘people truly love’ instead.
They’re words that will warm the hearts of car enthusiasts the world over: ‘stop building boring cars’, and they came from the mouth of Toyota big boss, CEO Akio Toyoda.
For the head of Toyota’s US-based design studio (Calty), Kevin Hunter, it’s a “great time to be in design at Toyota”. That’s because the guy at the very top (Toyoda) is a car enthusiast and a race car driver, which means he has a passion for exciting, cool cars.
But you could be forgiven for thinking Toyota had forgotten about their sports car heritage. After all, what happened to the likes of the Celica, Supra and MR2? Fun, drivers’ cars that have seemingly fallen from grace in favour of much more down to earth (we didn’t say boring) models such as the Corolla, Camry and Prius.
Speaking to a small group of journalists at the New York Motor Show following the unveiling of his latest creation (the FT-4X Concept), Hunter said: “We see him (Toyoda) in Japan and he tells us all the time, ‘let’s make cars people truly love’. Not just a good lease rate or they got a good deal, but cars people really love.”
Hopefully, going forward, we could once again see Toyota placing emphasis back on creating cars for enthusiasts (like the FT-1 Concept shown at the top of this post). It will make a refreshing change from them focusing on vehicles that primarily boast high reliability ratings and awards for value and quality, which are designed to bolster sales.
Interestingly, Hunter added that all the emphasis won’t be placed on the external design features either.
“We are starting inside out [with car design] a lot now because that’s where drivers and passengers spend most of their time… We call it a holistic user experience. It’s not just about exterior styling driving everything anymore,” he said.
Hunter hopes the driving experience will get more attention “as it makes up the bulk of our emotional reaction to our cars.”
It goes without saying that Toyoda’s vision for the company has generated a huge amount of excitement within the company.