Hybrids to Gain 20% Market Share, Says Toyota Chairman Uchiyamada
The father of the original Toyota Prius has high expectations for the segment he helped create. “I foresee hybrid models pretty soon reaching 20 percent of global sales from about 13 percent to 14 percent now,” Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada told Automotive News Europe.
That number was unfathomable to Uchiyamada in 1993 when he was put in charge of a small Toyota Motor Corp. group called Project G21, which was tasked with creating a 21st century car.
“My team proposed to top management that we design a vehicle that would achieve one and a half times better fuel consumption than anything that existed before,” Uchiyamada said. Toyota’s top management wasn’t satisfied and told the Project G21 team: “Double it. You are not being ambitious enough,” the 67-year-old executive recounted during a recent visit to Milan, Italy. Twenty-one years and more than 6 million Toyota and Lexus hybrids later, Uchiyamada knows he and his team achieved their mission.
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