Toyota CEO Wants You to Stop Calling His Cars Boring, Dammit
Will Toyota ever shed the beige reputation?
On the heels of reporting a 20 percent decline in profits yesterday, Akio Toyoda had some interesting things to say regarding the public perception of his company's products. In a report by USA Today, "Until now, there were times when Toyota’s cars were called 'boring' or were said to be lacking in character, but I now feel that, in terms of driving and design, our customers have begun to favorably evaluate our cars." Toyoda went on to acknowledge that there's "still room for improvement."
Turns out, making what is widely regarded as the most reliable and sensible vehicles in the world comes with a certain stigma in the emotional department.
While much of Toyota's current mainstream lineup is still objectively snooze-worthy, you have to admit the brand has taken great strides to offer some solid enthusiast choices as well. The 86/BRZ twins remain one of the greatest fun-per-dollar propositions on the market while being the only new car(s) on sale that offers a low-slung boxer engine in an FR layout. The Lexus LFA, despite being a bit of a hard sell on paper, is universally lauded and one of the coolest pieces of modern automotive engineering.
According to The Drive's own Chief Auto Critic Lawrence Ulrich, the GS F is "wicked fun to drive—full stop, no disclaimers." The new LC 500 is set to become a bona fide Japanese Aston Martin. Taking into account Toyota's plans to bring back the "Three Brothers" in a new 86, a spiritual MR2 successor, and the next Supra co-developed with BMW on top of plans to sell a hot Yaris to combat the likes of the Ford Fiesta ST, I can start to see where Akio is coming from.