Whats keeping Toyota from making a really good car? Is it its corporate culture? Or is it because of their legacy of failing to innovate? Regardless of the answer, the car industry is desperate for a new, affordable and high-quality car, and it seems as though the Japanese automaker is ignoring this demand. Regardless of the reasons, there is one thing that has kept Toyota from making an actual good car: its reputation. Toyota has been accused of deception in the past and has acted in a way that has undermined its public climate goals.
In the early 1950s, Toyota began developing the Toyopet Crown, a car that would test the company’s ability to produce cars. Before then, they had been outsourcing auto body and truck frame design, so this was a big test for Toyota. In addition to a comfortable body, they needed to develop a new chassis that would stand up to tough Japanese conditions. Fortunately, Toyota had been championing this project for years before its founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, died in March 1952. It went on sale in August 1955.
Despite this, the company has been resisting the transition to electric vehicles for years, and has bet their future on hydrogen fuel cells, which are much more expensive than electric batteries. While Toyota is still planning to use hybrids in the near future, an abrupt switch from gas-powered vehicles could be disastrous for them. Toyota’s recent history of delaying the transition is a case study. However, despite their efforts, it is clear that Toyota has taken a strategic decision not to be competitive in the near future.