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Toyota President Calls For Greater Auto Industry Technical Cooperation

12 January 2000

Toyota President Calls For Greater Auto Industry Technical Cooperation
    DETROIT, Jan. 12 -- In remarks to the North American
International Auto Show here today, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) President
Fujio Cho called for greater cooperation in developing efficient, clean
vehicles to assure the auto industry's future prosperity, as the world's
motorists increase in number and natural resources become more limited.
    Cho's remarks to the North American International Auto Show press
breakfast marked the first time a president of TMC has addressed the Detroit
Auto Show.  Cho called for industry collaboration to prepare for the
challenges facing society and carmakers in the 21st Century.  "We can no
longer afford to ignore the signs of global warming and the fact that the
consumption of gasoline and other fossil fuels is on the rise," he said.
"Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option...they will
become a necessity."
    Noting Toyota's clean technology alliances with General Motors and
Volkswagen, Cho called for automakers to take the lead in finding cleaner,
more efficient and more marketable environmentally sound vehicles for the
    "To reach our goals as an industry, we must continue to cooperate in the
laboratory -- and compete in the showroom," he said.
    Cho cited the commercially successful Prius gasoline-electric hybrid
vehicle and other advanced technologies as providing Toyota a head start
toward development of a fuel cell hybrid vehicle as the ultimate eco-car.
    "It has always been Toyota's desire to provide realistic solutions that
demonstrate our commitment to a cleaner environment," he said.  "I pledge that
Toyota will play its part as the auto industry endeavors to create a better
world in the twenty-first century."
    Cho also introduced TMC Member of the Board Toshiaki "Tag" Taguchi as the
new president of New York-based Toyota Motor North America (TMA).
    As a senior managing director, Taguchi supervised TMC's overseas
operations.  He will now oversee the newly activated TMA, which will
coordinate operations and improve productivity of Toyota's sales,
manufacturing, finance and research affiliates in the U.S. and Canada.
    The initial corporate function to be coordinated by TMA will be external
affairs.  Cho named Toyota Motor Sales Senior Vice President James Olson as
TMA's senior vice president of external and regulatory affairs.
    The establishment of TMA represents another step in Toyota's long-term
commitment to its North American operations and follows the company's listing
of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange late last year.  In December,
Toyota announced plans to further expand production at its Princeton, Indiana,
plant, helping to bring its North American capacity to 1.45 million vehicles
annually with a total investment in North America of more than $10 billion.