In a long interview, Toyota Motor Corp. President Katsuaki Watanabe outlined how he likes to nip small problems in the bud before they grow to become major ones. For example, Toyota sales are currently strong, but this is placing pressure on production, which lead Toyota to open a truck plant outside San Antonio and set up a line to build Camrys at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant. More production capacity is also being brought online in Canada and Mexico leading Toyota to be able to build 2 million vehicles a year in North America by mid-2008.
Asked about possible new Tundra models, it was revealed that Toyota is considering all options including diesel, hybrid or even bioethanol. Toyota's hybrid sales are expected to top 300,000 in 2007 and the recent deal to source diesel engines from Isuzu should be completed by the end of the year.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Watanabe shared his vision of his own dream car which would make the ambient air cleaner, and you healthier, the more you drive. It would also travel around the world on a single tank of fuel and cause no harm to people and have no accidents.

Asked, "Specifically, then, what is Toyota doing to alleviate global warming?", Watanabe replied, "First and foremost for us is to create cars that will be environmentally friendly and that will alleviate global warming."

"Then, as an industry, we need to cooperate with each other so that we will be able to find a solution. And if you extend the range to other sectors, like power generation and big appliance manufacturers, all of those sectors have to share the concern and make a commitment. Those are the things that we as a business must do."

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[Source: James B. Treece / Automotive News]

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