The last two years have been of intense work for Toyota do Brasil. In our journey of a little more than 60 years in the country, we are very proud of the work done so far, a path highlighted by our active participation in Brazil’s industrial and economic development and presence in the lives of thousands of people throughout the country: customers, employees, dealerships, and suppliers who helped us create this story of success.
Today, after just over two years as President of TDB (Toyota do Brazil Ltda.), I am prouder than ever to be part of an innovative and motivated team that always seeks to put a smile on the faces of our customer by offering the best in services and products. With this team, we are increasingly focused on being more than an automaker, but a company that is constantly changing and ready to respond to the challenges of urban mobility.
In 2017, the Brazilian automotive market began the steps towards recovery. There were 2.24 million cars registered, while in 2018, the Brazilian market reached the mark of 2.56 million cars sold, up 14.6% over 2017. This year, the market continues the pace of growth: until March 2019 (the month in which we closed our fiscal year), just over 607,000 units had been sold - an 11% increase over the 545,000 cars sold in the same period in 2018. And the year was also one of investments, with the announcement of R$ 1 billion to modernize the plant in Indaiatuba, which is preparing for the next generation of the Corolla.
To support the sustainability of our business over the long term, we are working in a more strategic and competitive manner to ensure our development, especially through exports. In 2017, we exported more than 57,000 units. In 2018, we broke the record of 65,000 cars sent to markets in the region. Today, we are proud to deliver high-quality cars produced here in Brazil to countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, and Chile, which accounts for 30% of our production.
For six decades in Brazil, we have worked tirelessly to bring novelties and complete our portfolio. We have always believed that our main goal is to seek smiles from our customers. It was like this in 2018, with the launch of the Yaris, a model in the B-premium segment that today is a purchase option between the already consolidated Etios and Corolla.
Toyota’s future is permeated by many long-term challenges. In order to overcome each one of them, the brand made a commitment to list them all within the Toyota 2050 Environmental Challenge. There, we established six major steps towards the full sustainable development of our operations, to cooperate with the generation of an increasingly carbon-free society. Thus, the first and most important challenge listed is to reduce by 90% emissions from our vehicles by 2050. Objectively, we are committed to stopping production of vehicles that are exclusively powered by fossil fuels.
This goal reinforces Toyota Motor Corporation’s belief that the automotive industry is changing and, to adequately meet the challenges of mankind, the company must constantly innovate in an environmentally responsible manner. We believe Toyota’s future is based on hybrid technology For this reason, the strategy was to place in the New Generation of the Corolla, one of the most iconic cars in the entire industry, the new hybrid flex engine, developed in partnership between Toyota Japan and Brazil.
Here in Brazil, I highlight the partnership between the Toyota Mobility Foundation and the WRI (World Resources Institute) - two companies that seek to develop a more accessible society and that together have created the “Inovemob” challenge in order to identify proposals for innovative, inclusive, and viable urban mobility. Five startups received investments to implement a pilot project of their ideas, and the winner, chosen in December, received a US$ 100,000 contribution for implementation (read more in our Solutions for the Future section).
In recent years, many obstacles have been overcome, but the challenges never end. Thus, Toyota invites everyone to “reinvent the future” together, consolidating our legacy and writing the next chapters of this story.
Enjoy your reading.
President of Toyota do Brasil and Chairman of the
Board of Trustees of the Toyota do Brasil Foundation