Focused on the Future

Innovation and investments mark the 2015 Toyota National Dealer Meeting
by Dan Nied
Sept/Oct 2015
Focused on the Future
Embracing the Future
TMC President Akio Toyoda praised the Ever-Better Expedition and reached out to the dealers as part of his family.
Photos by Brian Payne
Akio Toyoda took a little extra time getting to the Toyota National Dealer Meeting in Las Vegas on Sept. 9.

Apparently the president of Toyota Motor Corporation, who arrived with a large convoy of Ever-Better Expedition vehicles and drivers, made a few pit stops along the way. But when he finally took the stage, Toyoda was energized by the journey, which began in Australia last year and will ultimately cover five continents around the world.

It's been a great opportunity for us to continue our tradition of listening, learning and improving,” Toyoda said. “Making better cars is not just about calculating engineering data or testing them in simulators. The minute we lose contact with the real world and our customers is the minute we lose our ability to build ever-better cars and create ever-better experiences.”

Overall, the 2015 National Dealer Meeting focused on forward-thinking products and investments in the future.

Manufacturing Man
Bob Carter showed his excitement that Toyota is making a big investment in the future by building its 15th North American manufacturing plant. The Central Mexico plant will be the first built from the ground-up with TNGA capabilities.

A Proud Future
Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations, Bob Carter, opened in typical fashion: showing his love for the Camry. In fact, Carter couldn’t help but gush over recent statistics that say consumers consider Camry the most stylish car in the segment.

“My baby just won the beauty pageant,” Carter said to applause.

But Carter also showed a love for manufacturing, detailing Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA), which will improve manufacturing by grouping production of common vehicle platforms in each plant.

“In a nutshell, TNGA will make all our vehicles ride better, drive better, handle better and look better,” Carter said. “It will give them better mpg, more efficiency and improved collision performance. TNGA will also allow us to build more models on common platforms and use common parts intelligently while fully leveraging our entire supply chain.”

Carter also couldn’t contain his excitement over Toyota’s new manufacturing plant in Guanajuato, Mexico that will be the first plant built from the ground up with TNGA capabilities.

“This will be the first ground-up state-of-the-art factory in the world utilizing Toyota’s New Global Architecture,” Carter said. “This new plant is not only going to build more Corollas at an improved manufacturing cost, it will also open up capacity in our other North American plants so we can build more of the products you and your guests want.”


Bring it On
Now that Scion’s newest models—the iM and iA—are off to a strong start … “We have an opportunity once again to make Scion a more effective place for experimentation and a greater source of new buyers to the Toyota family,” said Strategic Planning Group Vice Doug Murtha.

Meanwhile, Toyota Motor Sales President Kaz Ohara touted Toyota’s new Safety Sense system.

“Toyota’s pursuit of ever-better safety technology continues,” Ohara said. “We are very excited about the rollout of our affordable Toyota Safety Sense system, which includes pre-collision automatic braking. You can be sure we will have follow-up technologies to take us to the next level in safety, keeping us ahead of the competition.”
A Loyal Family
At last year’s dealer meeting, Toyoda announced the first Best in Town award, and this year he awarded it to Ann and Russ Humberston of Beaverton Toyota in Oregon. The award goes to the dealership that best creates an exceptional experience for its customers.

In closing, Toyoda reached out to the dealer family as a whole.

“To each of you, I say you are my friend, you are my family. Blood makes one related, but loyalty is what makes you family,” Toyoda said. “Thank you for your loyalty, your support and your belief. We are One Toyota. Thank you for making us ever better.”


Best in Town
Russ Humberston of Beaverton Toyota in Oregon is recognized with the very first Best in Town award, which is given to the dealership that best creates an exceptional experience for its customers.

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