"Choice Advocate" Former President Akio Toyoda's Replacement Koji Sato EV Advocate, Supports Tesla Inspired Leap For Next-Gen Toyota EV Platform
Grudging admiration for Tesla helps reinforce a stark realization at Toyota. For all its expertise in electrification going back to the first Prius hybrid, Toyota needs a great leap forward for the new era of full electrics.
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- SEE ALSO: Tesla Teardown - Learning the Secrets of the Country's most Innovative Upstart Auto By Marth Hindes (Originally Published April 26, 2018)
- SEE ALSO: Former Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda Said Power Choices Should Be The Future Of Toyota (The Toyota Board Thought Not) (Originally Published November 11, 2021)
Washington DC February 28, 2023; The AIADA newsletter reported that when engineers at Toyota recently conducted a teardown study of the Tesla Model Y, it did more than expose key technological secrets of the popular American-made, full-electric crossover.
It also tore away a smoldering complacency at the Japanese automaker.
What laid underneath the Model Y's sheet metal was a masterfully simplistic vehicle structure built with an advanced manufacturing prowess that would be the envy of any old-guard automaker.
"Taking the skin off the Model Y, it was truly a truly work of art," said one Toyota executive who scrutinized the Tesla part by part. "It's unbelievable." Numerous executives described Toyota's new approach to trade magazine Automotive News with the understanding that they would not be identified discussing internal planning.
But the grudging admiration that reverberated through Toyota's top engineering corps came with a stark realization: Toyota Motor Corp., the world's biggest automaker, for all its expertise in electrification going back to the first Prius hybrid in 1997, needs a great leap forward for the new era of full electric vehicles.
Now, Toyota is getting ready for that jump with a new "EV-first" mindset.
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