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Toyota Continues to Be a Leader in Automotive R&D Patents


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ANN ARBOR, MI--June 20, 2014: The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued 1,355 patents to Toyota’s innovative engineers and scientists in 2013. The patents issued to Toyota companies further demonstrate Toyota’s commitment to ever better vehicles that achieve new environmental, innovation and safety technological advancements.

Toyota Technical Center, the R&D arm of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has offices in Ann Arbor and Saline, Michigan; recently held their annual innovation awards ceremony at the Inn at St. John’s (Plymouth) to honor last year’s patent recipients. Attendees are excited about the event and are very interested to see who receives the most patents each year. At last year’s event Mindy Zhang, manager-Toyota Research Institute, N.A. and Charon Lota, manager, electronic systems were tied for first with 20 patents each.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Nigel Francis, Senior Automotive Advisor to the State of Michigan. In comments prior to the dinner Mr. Francis said, “The sheer number of patents received by Toyota engineers in Michigan is testimony to the ongoing importance of innovation both within Toyota and the state of Michigan. We are very grateful to have Toyota and its talented workforce in Michigan and glad that Toyota shares our vision that innovation is a strategic imperative in the automotive sector“.

Simon Nagata, TEMA President shared the importance of the continued intentional innovation at TTC, “The automobile and the automotive industry are undergoing technological transformations at an incredible pace. The innovations developed by our TTC engineers and scientists show that we’re not just keeping pace- we’re helping to set the pace.”

For more than 35 years, Toyota Technical Center (TTC), a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, N.A. Inc. has been the driving force behind Toyota’s North American engineering, research and development activities. Established in 1977 and headquartered in Michigan, TTC has R&D facilities in Ann Arbor, Saline, Plymouth and Livonia Michigan. In addition, TTC has two R&D facilities in California and operates the Toyota Arizona Proving Ground near Phoenix, AZ.

TTC is engaged in engineering design, vehicle evaluation, materials research, prototype building, powertrain tuning, safety/crashworthiness, regulatory affairs and advanced research for Toyota and Lexus vehicles manufactured or sold in North America. TTC has engineered and developed the following vehicles Avalon, Camry, Rav4 EV, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra and the Venza.