The two major areas in which Toyota will be investing its resources, according to the prez, are technology development and localization. Major amounts of R&D dollars will be spent on technology development in the areas of the environment, safety, quality and costs. Watanabe bragged a bit about Toyota’s current hybrid lineup and touched briefly on the hybrid version of the Lexus GS that will be available this spring.
Toyota is moving ahead aggressively in its effort to localize its business in various markets, as evident by the Tundra assembly plant in Texas, as well as the future birthplace of the Camry Hybrid in Kentucky. North America isn’t the only country getting love from Toyota, however – the next Camry will also be built locally in Guangzhou, China.
Will it all be enough to overtake the General in 2006? We’ll check back with Watanabe next New Year's to find out, assuming we can fish him out of the punch bowl. That guy can party!