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Industry News: Is Toyota Shooting Itself in the Foot in Regard to EVs?


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Toyota corporation and it's CEO has been very clear from the start that they do not think people want EVs and have stated this with their dedication to Hydrogen cars that have bombed in their limited sales, fuel infrastructure and more.

Toyota then came out with their first EV the bz4x that was a full-on recall / buy back only months later after production started in 2022.

Now as Toyota is changing leadership as the current CEO moves to the board as Chairman and a younger by a few years takes over the CEO leadership of the company, Toyota is doing a radical shift. 

Toyota Motor Corp. in an interview with "The Asahi Shimbun" has stated that they plan to develop a pure EV-only platform to cut costs, raise production efficiency and competitiveness with the rest of the automakers globally with a focus on Tesla.

To date, Toyota has used a hybrid platform that supports ICE, Prius and their first EVs, the bz4x by Toyota and the Lexus RZ450e, a rebadged version of the bz4x.

Due to the sharing of the current platform to support both internal combustion engines, hybrid powertrains, these first EVs are a complicated mess of design and space. This means that there are parts used that are totally unnecessary for EVs and more complex due to the needs of Hybrids/ICE autos. This also means that these EVs are more expensive to produce and support. It also means that Toyota has limited choices on where and how to mount battery packs, electric motors, internal space and more when compared to the competition.

Toyota has rising production costs at a time that Tesla has started to cut prices globally. Toyota has acknowledged that they cannot generate profits and sales while competing with automakers that use a dedicated skateboard platform.

While Toyota is expected to rank #1 in global auto sales for 2022, they are not even in the top 10 EV sales leaders for 2022.

As per the latest auto sales for EVs, the U.S., Europe and China are dominated by Tesla in First place and in China second place is BYD, where VW is second in Europe and Hyundai/Kia has taken the second place of EV sales in the U.S.

Toyota has stated that this new EV dedicated platform will go into production either mid 2027 to mid 2028 and that they will still be able to produce 30 electric models starting in 2030 with production capacity of 3.5 million that same year.

Retiring CEO but New Chairman Akio Toyoda believes that the U.S. target of 50% EV sales by 2030 is very difficult if not impossible to achieve. The Toyota Chairman says 85% of Toyota sales in the U.S. will still be ICE even though sales figures show California sales at the end of 2022 had 16% EVs and other states are approaching 10% with expected gains in 2023.

With California, the largest auto market in the U.S. already past that 15% sales point that Toyota thinks EVs will only be at by 2030; GM Ultium platform, Hyundai/Kia E-GMP platform and other automakers having dedicated EV Platforms going into production makes one think that Toyota could end up losing their crown at Global auto sales leader Especially at Europe and China move ahead to hit 50% EV sales by 2030 if not sooner as some countries move up ending ICE sales to 2028.

This makes one wonder how relevant Japanese auto companies will be by 2030 as many other auto companies in Japan are either joining to get a single EV out or none at all in a very conservative approach to a changing global market.

One only has to look at Honda which has a single EV for Honda and Acura by using GM's Ultium platform and coproducing an EV with Sony on a Sony platform. Then you have Mazda that thinks an EV with a rotary generator is the way to go.

End result is we live in interesting times for the Auto Industry and the auto buyers.

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Toyota is shooting themselves in the foot.  They have the size, scale, manufacturing plants and cash to make a big turnaround if they take drastic action.  IF they just go down the road they are with just focusing on hybrids and not EV, they'll be in trouble in 10 years.

Sandy Monroe has a cost analysis on the Tesla Model Y and it costs them about $29k to build.  And Tesla has a new platform update coming that is going to cut cost even further.  Not unrealistic to think they they could be building Model 3 and Y for around $25k cost in a few years.  Tesla right now is making over $15,000 profit per car so they have proven you can make money on EV's as Mercedes makes about $5,000 per car and has the 2nd best profit per car in the world, it isn't even close.  The only reason Tesla prices are what they are is they can't keep up with demand, as they open more factories and have more capacity, they'll cut the price more and the Model Y w ill have Rav4 pricing and Tesla will mop the floor with Toyota and everyone else.  

This is basically a race to see who can build an EV for equal cost as an ICE car.  Whoever gets there first is going to put the companies holding on to ICE out of business.

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