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Toyota Canada CEO Defends Auto Shows & Motorsports

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Toyota Canada CEO Larry Hutchinston at 2020 Canadian International Auto Show
Toyota Canada CEO and President Larry Hutchinston
Photo: Toyota Canada

Are auto shows outdated? Larry Hutchinson, president and CEO of Toyota Canada, doesn’t think so. Speaking at the 2020 Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, Hutchinson emphasized how important electrified vehicles were to Toyota and the rest of the automotive industry, and how auto shows help enable people to learn more about them.

“In a time when people question the value of auto shows, it’s clear that they are more beneficial than ever,” Hutchinson said. “They are a first-hand opportunity to see and test new technologies, to look at new products on the horizon, and to explore our electrified future.”

Visitors of the 2020 Canadian International Auto Show were able to take a look at Toyota’s entire model range, including the all-new 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the upcoming 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid SUV with performance on par with luxury vehicles.

Toyota’s electrified model lineup also includes the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid and the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, but by far the most noteworthy vehicle the company showed off at the auto show was the Toyota TS050 Hybrid race car.

Larry Hutchinston and Alex Wurz shake hands at 2020 Canadian International Auto Show
Larry Hutchinson and Alex Wurz in front of the RAV4 Prime and TS050 Hybrid
Photo: Toyota Canada

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Hutchinson introduced both the Le Mans-winning prototype and two-time Le Mans winner Alexander Wurz at the auto show as part of a defense of motorsports. As autonomous vehicles and environmentally-friendly technologies increasingly become the focus of the modern car industry, some are questioning the need for motorsports.

However, Hutchinson says that motorsports “is and will always remain an invaluable proving ground” for developing technologies, including hybrid electric vehicles. The technologies developed for the TS050 Hybrid, for instance, trickle down to everyday vehicles.

“Racing allows us to push vehicles to their limits and ensure that when Toyota introduces new platforms, new powertrains and new technologies, they measure up to the qualities that Toyotas are known for — including quality, reliability and durability — even as they boost driving fun and reduce emissions.”

The Toyota Canada CEO added that Toyota is planning to offer an electrified version of every model the company sells by 2025. “Whether you’re looking for performance or responsiveness, or amazing fuel efficiency and range, or improved torque, Toyota will have an electrified vehicle that works for you,” he promised.

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