Yoshi Inaba says today’s cars are being transformed by communications technology and other exciting innovations
(TORONTO) – Speaking today at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Canadian International Auto Show, Yoshi Inaba, President and Chief Operating Officer of Toyota Motor North America, Inc., described how the auto sector is “entering an era of innovation that will significantly alter transportation in the twenty-first century,” as it builds on a number of stunning gains over the last few years.
“Today’s hybrids emit 66 per cent fewer smog-forming emissions,” said Inaba. “Fuel economy is increasing at incredible rates, and in addition to advances in fuel efficiency and reducing environmental impact, our advances in communication technology are unprecedented.”
Inaba noted that today’s cars are well on the way to meeting the needs of connected customers.
“In-car electronics are becoming more compatible with the smartphones that have become the communications hubs of our lives. The key is providing these connected activities in a way that won’t distract drivers.”
Inaba added that while all manufacturers are striving to meet customer needs, some of the items Toyota is working on include, better voice recognition systems, new concepts in touch pads, cameras to replace inner and outer rear-view mirrors, new glass technologies that improve visibility in bad weather while blocking harmful sun rays, and “even steering wheel health monitors.”
The auto economy, he said, is unique in that it creates, builds and adapts faster than any other mature industry, and it represents the hope and home of the next generation of engineering and design technology, offering young Canadians the opportunity to advance and leave their mark.
“The car business is a big business. It is vital to the well-being and quality of life for Canadians. It drives innovation. It drives growth.”
Inaba noted that new vehicle sales in North American will increase by about six per cent in 2012, which means about 13.6 million units sold in the United States and a little over 1.6 million in Canada.
“Outstanding new cars are hitting the market one after another. Everyone knows they need vehicles to get stuff done, to drive to and from work or to car-pool kids. But a car is more than a transportation appliance. At its very best, it’s a love affair. It’s design that moves and inspires you; performance that thrills you; and technology and craftsmanship that simply amazes you. After some challenging years and a lot of soul-searching, automakers have rediscovered their passion. Collectively, we’ve put the car back in the car business.”
About Toyota Motor North America
Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA), wholly owned by Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM), is the holding company for Toyota's U.S. sales and manufacturing companies. Functions include government and regulatory affairs, energy, environment, economic research, philanthropy and corporate communications. Headquartered in New York City, it has operations in Washington, D.C., Miami, Fla., and Torrance, Calif.
About Toyota Canada Inc.
Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota, Lexus and Scion cars, SUVs and trucks. Toyota is the first full-line manufacturer to make all of the elements of the Star Safety System standard on every vehicle starting in 2011. The Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST). TCI’s head office is in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax and parts distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver.