Damage Control

VW Could Learn from Toyota

Toyota president Akio Toyoda speaks next to a fourth-generation Prius hybrid vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo, Japan, on Oct. 28, 2015. Source: Bloomberg
Toyota president Akio Toyoda speaks next to a fourth-generation Prius hybrid vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo, Japan, on Oct. 28, 2015.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Toyota and Volkswagen have long been rivals, and now Toyota is pulling ahead while VW remains mired in scandal.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Toyota is the world’s largest car maker.
    • Last week it said it will spend $1 billion on research over five years.
    • Its main rival is Volkswagen which has long held ambitions to become the biggest car maker in the world.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Last week Toyota, the world’s largest car maker, announced an impressive set of quarterly results, and an ambitious plan for its future.

The tone and results were in stark contrast to Volkswagen, which will have to spend billions to deal with its ever widening emissions-rigging scandal.

Toyota meanwhile has said it will invest heavily in artificial intelligence. It plans to spend $1 billion in research over the next five years, with a special focus on the new Toyota Research Institute, based in Silicon Valley, which will start operations next year.

Toyota’s chief executive, Akio Toyoda, does not just want to make smarter cars, but also robots and other innovative products. It is significant that Mr. Toyoda would prefer to speak about the future than boast about current achievements: and it’s an indication of the cultural differences between the leader Toyota and Volkswagen, which sees itself as Toyota’s main challenger.

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