Luis Lozano
President
Toyota Motor de México
/
View from the Top

Toyota México Celebrates 20 Years of Moving Toward the Future

By Mirjam Schipper | Wed, 05/18/2022 - 12:37

Q: After 20 years of operations in Mexico, what milestones has Toyota achieved in the country?

A: 2022 is a very important year for Toyota. In hindsight, these 20 years have passed very quickly. Toyota has generated a great deal of value for Mexico and the country has given us great opportunities, too. Toyota has produced 1.7 million vehicles and sold over 1.3 million units in Mexico over the past 20 years. We have a dealership network with 98 distributors and over 11,000 direct and indirect employees. It is time to plan our next 20 years in this country, which has given so much to Toyota.

Q: What role do electrified vehicles play within the company’s operation and toward further electrification in Mexico?

A: Mexico represents the 16th-most important market for Toyota Motor Corporation. We have introduced several innovations in Mexico. Toyota is the global leader in electrified vehicle sales. We have been selling electrified vehicles since 1997, with the sale of more than 20 million electrified vehicles in the world, including more than 90,000 hybrid electric vehicles in México. Through these efforts, Toyota has saved over 160 million tons of CO2 globally.

México is an important market to further vehicle electrification, both in sales and manufacturing. Toyota’s plants in Baja California and Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato, are two of the automaker’s most modern facilities across the world. We are very proud that Toyota chose Mexico to produce 100 percent of the Tacoma models sold in North America.

Q: How has Toyota’s HEV offer in Mexico grown in recent years?

A: Historically, Toyota has been recognized for listening to the market. This is one of the reasons for our success. Currently, Toyota ranks third in Mexico in terms of market share (as unitary brand), which is the result of introducing products that are adapted to the market. Our HEV offer in the country has grown steadily. In 2010, we introduced Prius and today we have a wide HEV offer, which includes Prius. In addition to Camry, Corolla, our superstar RAV4 and Sienna, which is now exclusively produced in its HEV version, and until now, we have sold more than 90,000 hybrid electric vehicles in the country.

Q: The Toyota Hilux is one of Mexico’s top sellers. What role do pickups and commercial vehicles play within the company’s sales?

A: Hilux is one of our superstar vehicles; we import it from Thailand and it is our best-seller in the country. In April we sold 1,834 units.

Regarding larger pickups, Tacoma, which is manufactured in México, sell well in the US, where Tundra is also successful. Pickups are very important for Toyota in México and in North America. Our plant has the installed capacity to produce 266,000 vehicles a year for the North American market.

Q: Toyota recently introduced the Raize model to the Mexican market to a positive reception. What market does this mini-SUV target?

A: Raize is a mini-SUV that arrived in Mexico alongside Corolla Cross, after Toyota’s decision to return to the mini-SUV market. Raize targets young customers, who are looking for an agile, versatile and fun vehicle and it has had an incredible reception. In March, it was our second-highest selling vehicle, just behind Hilux. Guillermo Díaz, who is Toyota Motor Sales y Lexus de Mexico has run a great team work to introduce this new vehicle into a very well received segment.

Toyota’s vision is to offer products across all vehicle segments. Over the past 20 years, we have built a strategy in which customers can experience the brand regardless of the type of vehicle they are looking for. This sets us on the right path for the full electrification transition in Mexico.

Q: What does the future of fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) look like?

A: Toyota will continue to innovate in different solutions to improve mobility in general. Around the world, Toyota offers its customers the possibility to choose the powertrain they need, taking into account their preferences and the markets they live in. There are markets for HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and even for FCEVs, such as the Mirai, which we have had in the market for over seven years.

Toyota Motor Corporation is optimistic about FCEVs and the general potential of hydrogen. Currently, regulations have led countries to move toward electrification but once hydrogen becomes cheaper to produce, it will become a real option for several countries. Most of the countries that have boosted BEV adoption will end up embracing FCEVs too. Regardless of preferences, Toyota offers four electrified powertrains to its customers.

Mirai is currently sold in specific markets, such as California in the US, where there are over 200 hydrogen stations. In 2015, Mirai began mass production and it has already sold over 10,000 units globally.

Q: How is Toyota innovating in passenger experience through its in-vehicle entertainment and infotainment systems?

A: In-vehicle entertainment is key to Toyota and most of our vehicles have CarPlay. An important aspect regarding CASE is that the future will no longer be hardware-driven. Toyota manufactures vehicles, which are hardware, but software will now become an important part of our business.

Toyota has carried out two main global strategies toward CASE mobility. First, we have partnered with nontraditional automotive companies, such as Microsoft. Second, Toyota Connected, a separate company, was created to focus exclusively on software. In the future, there will be applications that will enable cars to park autonomously and it will be possible to buy additional horsepower through Toyota’s software. Customers will focus more on the complete passenger experience, including software, rather than the vehicle performance itself.

Q: What efforts is Toyota making toward decarbonization?

A: Toyota has a global commitment to reach 100 percent carbon neutrality by 2050. This means that BEVs and PHEVs must be charged with clean electricity, as well. In Mexico, our commitment includes both of Toyota’s plants, which will have zero-waste processes powered by clean energies. Charging infrastructure is important but so is the generation of electricity. This is why we are working closely with the Mexican government and all stakeholders to boost clean energy generation.

Q: How has Toyota digitized its sales processes and what role will dealerships continue to play within the company’s operations?

A: Toyota always Thinks Globally and Acts Locally. Dealers are our main business partners and they know the areas where they are operating. It is essential to understand the diverse needs of each city and state across Mexico, which is why our dealers continue to play an essential role in Toyota’s sales.

During the pandemic, Guillermo Diaz´s team created our own digital sales platform but dealers have remained our main commercial partners. Toyota will continue to work with them amid this global industry transformation. Digitization does not exclude dealers from the sales process. Despite digital sales, dealers remain the link between Toyota and its clients. In the future, with further adoption of shared services and electrification, the role of our dealers will adapt to the circumstances.

Q: How will Toyota continue working in the Mexican market in the coming years?

A: Toyota will remain committed to its work in Mexico, growing both in sales and manufacturing operations. We have recently announced a new corporate structure, which will give the company more dynamism. Guillermo Díaz is now our President of Sales, while Óscar Quijada and Francisco García remain presidents of our TMMBC and TMMGT plants, respectively; and ALex Kuntzy leading our Financial operations.

Toyota will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Mexico this year, which marks the beginning of the company's transition to the future.

 

Toyota Motor Corporation is the world’s largest automotive company by production volume. Toyota Motor de México encompasses Toyota’s plants in Baja California and Guanajuato, as well as Toyota Motor Sales de México and its holding Toyota Motor de México.

Mirjam Schipper Mirjam Schipper MBN staff