Seiji Ichii – 2015 Toyota Canada Inc. Annual Dinner Remarks

January 11, 2015

As prepared for :


2014 North American International Auto Show 

Sunday, January 11, 2015, Windsor, ON

Seiji Ichii, President & CEO, Toyota Canada Inc.







It is a pleasure to have you join us at our annual Toyota Canada dinner – on the eve of the North American International Auto Show.


Among our guests, we welcome many of Canada’s top business and auto industry journalists. It is our pleasure to host all of you.


We are also fortunate to have a number of government representatives.

Please join in welcoming: 


  • Douglas George, Consul General of Canada in Detroit;
  • Colette Downie and Randa Saryeddine, Auto and Transportation at Industry Canada;
  • Julie Washburn and Erin D’Alessandro, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade; and
  • Trevor Dauphinee, Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.


We also have members of Canada’s analyst community, please welcome:


  • Dennis DesRosiers; and
  • Michael Robinet.


This has been a special year for TCI. In July, we started a celebration of 50 years in Canada. We are grateful that so many of you have written news stories, letters of congratulations and continue to support our successful product cadence. We’re optimistic that even with market challenges, the spirit of innovation will continue as we launch 15 new or refreshed vehicles in calendar year 2015, following the 17 vehicles we launched in 2014. This year, we were top 10 for global Toyota sales.


There’s a new spirit at Toyota which comes from Akio Toyoda, our global president. It’s a focus on reinvigorating product, quality and safety – and Seiji will speak to you about those a little later.


We are moving forward steadily and boldly to ensure a continued bright future. You’ll see some of that at the show this week. But before we get there, thank you again and I’d like to call upon our Chairman, Ray, to offer a toast.





Good evening everyone. Bonne soir a tous.


Thank you for being here tonight.


It is hard to believe it has been 50 years since Toyota began operating in Canada – allowing us to invite 4.6 million new car and truck owners to our family.


A family that includes about 24,000 Canadian employees, with operations throughout the country – from manufacturers and parts distributors to Toyota Financial Services and coast-to-coast dealerships.


It was fitting that as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are also able to celebrate some remarkable sales results, including a number of records.

For 2014, TCI had sales of 200,851 vehicles – up almost 3% over 2013.

It was our best year ever for sales of the Canadian-made RAV4. With a new record, a total of more than 36,600 – up well over 10% compared to last year.


In addition, we sold our 100,000th hybrid during the year … and we reached an annual sales record for Lexus with more than 17,000 vehicles sold.


We are grateful for that success. We thank our customers, our dealers and associates and Akio Toyoda, whose vision has brought vehicles that are both exciting to look at and fun to drive.


Here in Detroit, you’ll get a sense of that.


You’ll be amazed by our new Tacoma and the great design and new engine innovations it offers.


Also expect to be delighted when you see the stunning new Lexus GS F … And maybe hear about Lexus’ racing hint…


Of course, the vehicles we have at the show are just the tip of the iceberg.

We’re driving optimism for the future by bringing true mobility solutions to our customers.


We have a new safety packages launching in 2015 and standard across the lineup in 2016. These are active safety technologies designed to help prevent and protect all those who share the road.


We’re introducing breakthrough powertrains with the Toyota Mirai fuel cell that uses no gasoline and emits only water vapour. And can travel up to 483 kilometres on a full tank.


I am particularly proud that we subjected the Mirai to more than a million miles of road testing in Canada. That includes in extreme conditions such as the cold of Yellowknife and the altitude of the Rocky Mountains. So there is a bit of Canada in the Mirai.


It truly represents a re-imagining of the future of mobility. And hints to the innovation that Toyota will continue to bring to Canadians. 


Once again, we thank you for all your support over the years … and we look forward to working with you in the future.


As valued members of our family, please reach out to us anytime you feel we can help you with your success …just as you have helped us with ours.


Thank you very much … and enjoy the show …



About Toyota Canada Inc.

Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles.  Celebrating its 50th anniversary in Canada, Toyota has sold over 4.6 million vehicles in Canada through a national network of 285 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships. Toyota is dedicated to bringing safety, quality, dependability and reliability in the vehicles Canadians drive and the service they receive.  TCI’s head office is located in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Halifax and parts distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver.  Toyota operates two manufacturing facilities in Canada which build popular Canadian vehicles: Toyota RAV4, Toyota Corolla, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid and just celebrated production of its 6 millionth vehicle.


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