First, let me raise the following as the first issue.
Does this country need manufacturing?
Is manufacturing appealing?
Some people think that manufacturing is old-fashioned.
Shown here are examples of Toyota creations for providing people freedom of mobility and joy.
Even by looking at just a few examples from Toyota, you can see that manufacturing has the power to create happiness, smiles, and joy.
Next, on to the second issue.
Can manufacturing survive in earthquake-prone Japan?
Isn’t a series of disasters a sign of merging weakness?
Isn’t Japan no longer a country in which manufacturing is viable?
I think that such questions are misguided.
From long ago, Japanese manufacturing has always leveraged trials and tribulations, overcome them and become stronger.
When the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in 2011, plants and equipment unexpectedly suffered extensive damage, and recovery took a considerable amount of time.
In overcoming that ordeal, we have learned how to take equipment-related measures and appropriate initial actions to minimize damage as much as possible even in emergencies.
Last year, when COVID-19 spread and production became impossible, we started to produce masks, face shields, and foot-operated disinfectant application devices and to voluntarily support the production of medical gowns. Our initial response to such emergencies has become more prompt and proactive.
In terms of disaster recovery support immediately after the 2011 earthquake, our parts procurement and equipment manufacturing teams brilliantly coordinated to achieve the feat of producing equipment in only two months, compared to the usual seven months.
That was the result of no one doing it for oneself and of working with the united purpose of protecting Japan’s manufacturing.
Just as we have long said, making things means making people.
I think it is safe to say that Japan, which turns hardships into strengths, is an optimal place for manufacturing.
This brings me to the third issue.
Can manufacturing, which is often called old-fashioned, create new solutions?
Let’s take the example of whether it is possible to make cars that do not emit CO2, other than battery electric vehicles.
Ten years ago, it was kind of like this: “Impossible. The most that can be one is to reduce CO2 emissions using hybrids,” or “I’ve heard of fuel cells, but…”
Well, how about now?
As evidenced by comments like “The Mirai is in its second generation”, and, with people talking about a hydrogen-powered car, something few had heard about 10 years ago, having completed a 24-hour endurance race, things have changed.
What new creations will come about over the next 10 years?
New creations will sure come to life even beyond that.
That’s truly something to look forward to.
Manufacturing is, without a doubt, a field of growth that creates new possibilities.
Willful passion and action can change the landscape of the future.
From here, I would like to share with you real-life, Toyota stories about the possibilities created by manufacturing with willful passion and action.
I will proceed as shown here.