Speed dating jan 11detroit
The project was the brainchild of Toyota's chairman at the time, Eiji Toyoda, a member of the company's controlling family, who had an unusual obsession with energy saving.The secretive project, known internally only as G21, was at first not meant to be a hybrid.Masayuki Sasanouchi, general manager of Toyota's environmental affairs division, defended the company's attack on the California rules."We understand climate change is a federal issue, so we don't think California has a right to legislate it," he said.
At the time, the price of oil averaged below per barrel, Americans were snapping up ever-bigger SUVs, and saving gasoline seemed like a politically correct anachronism.In September 1994, the G21 team first heard hints from top executives that it should consider hybrid technology, which had been tainted by its association with an earlier, failed project to build an electric car.That December, management came with a thunderbolt -- instead of a 50 percent improvement in fuel efficiency, the new car would need a 100 percent improvement. In August 1995, Toyota's new chairman, Hiroshi Okuda, came with another thunderbolt -- instead of the previous target date of December 1998, the project would have to be completed by December 1997."So they're the most aggressive about developing alternate technologies." By Wall Street's main yardstick -- the company's share price levels -- Toyota is the world's ninth most valuable company, and is now worth more than double the combined value of GM, Ford and Daimler Chrysler.Japanese analysts agree that even by Japan's standards, Toyota is unique.
"What has made this revolution possible is that Toyota is a company with a focus on technology, because we think innovation is the future of our company," Ogiso said in an interview. We are trying very hard, and it is very difficult." Ogiso's humility is typical of Toyota.