Toyota Canada CEO Defends Auto Shows & Motorsports
Are auto shows outdated?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.
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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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Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Throughout his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, 30 Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.