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Akio Toyoda: “Combustion Engines Still Has A Lot of Potentials”



Akio Toyoda has not been CEO of Toyota for some time now but continues to throw his weight into the position of chairman of the board. Toyoda praised the combustion engine at the Tokyo Auto Salon. According to Toyoda, this form of propulsion still has a lot of potential, and the combustion engine is even desperately needed to achieve the climate neutrality of the car world so desired by many. That is why a new, but not yet specified, project is being started, the aim of which is to further stimulate the development of the combustion engine.

“You may be thinking, ‘combustion engines in this day and age?’ That sounds like we are not moving with the times, but that is not right,” Toyoda is said to have said, loosely translated. According to him, further development of the combustion engine is permanently necessary to be able to build more economical and cleaner cars on a large scale. Moreover, Toyoda makes no secret of the fact that preserving employment and not simply throwing away acquired knowledge is also a reason to remain loyal to the combustion engine. Toyoda even has a message to the many engine builders in Japan: “Let’s keep it going! I will never let all your work go to waste.”

This may sound a bit like what the business world calls a Kodak moment, but let’s not forget that Toyota is also on a massive EV offensive. The new CEO, Koji Sato, is strongly committed to electric driving, but that should not be expected ‘completely’. Toyota insists more than one solution is needed and doesn’t want to go all-in on battery-electric cars. Toyota is still the world’s largest car manufacturer and, as such, very successful in areas where the electric car is in its infancy, so from that perspective, this approach is not so bad.

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