During his first press conference, Toyota Motor Corp.’s new CEO Koji Sato announced the beginning of a long-awaited plan to electrify the automaker’s car lineup.
The automaker, which frequently describes itself as a mobility company with the mission of changing the future of automobiles, declared on Friday that it would sell 1.5 million battery electric vehicles annually and introduce 10 new EV models by 2026 while “strengthening hybrids and plug-in hybrids” in order to meet its commitment to cut emissions in half by 2035 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
“First, the corporation must take the necessary steps, starting with electrification”, Sato stated in his first public appearance since taking over as CEO and president on April 1. Nevertheless, unlike many other automakers, he did not fully embrace a 100% electric future, with many slides during Friday’s presentation reiterating Toyota’s plan of taking a multi-pathway approach to carbon neutrality.
Toyota’s strategy for developed markets is to improve the performance of its bZ series of EVs and to have a locally made battery SUV in North America by 2025, as well as to increase battery plant production. By 2024, China intends to introduce two locally developed electric vehicles. Toyota will also concentrate on battery pickup trucks and tiny electric vehicles in Asia.
Company’s top priority is to build an EV production platform from scratch while dealing with lingering pandemic measures, supply chain problems, and a lack of semiconductors. This is because Sato wants to lead the Japanese carmaker, which could make as many as 10.6 million cars this year, into a new age of electrification and smart vehicles.