Toyota didn’t get to be the world’s largest automaker by not selling cars. It isn’t surprising, therefore, that Toyota is the only major car company that hasn’t “committed” – as it is styled – to building cars that most people don’t want to buy.
Those being electric cars.
It is neither here nor there whether you believe – exactly the right word – that it is necessary to “transition” to electric cars to stave off what is asserted to be an imminent – for the last several decades (Al Gore has grown gray and fat in the interval) – “climate crisis” if you cannot afford an electric car and/or cannot afford to waste your time (which is even more valuable than money) arranging your life around range-recharge.
Toyota recognizes these economic and practical realities. The rest of the industry acts as if they do not exist. This is like acting as if gravity does not exist when leaning over the edge of a steep cliff.
Gravity does not care whether you believe in it, of course.
Anyhow, while the rest of the industry is operating on the “if we build it, they will come” philosophy and probably hoping that the surge of outright bans on the sale of cars that aren’t electric by 2035 will force people to – somehow – buy what many do not want and most cannot afford, Toyota is quietly building more cars that people do want and can afford.
None of them electric.
One magnificently contrarian example of this being the 2023 Supra GR, which is a “ludicrously” speedy car with the emotional appeal that’s lacking in even the speediest electric cars – which get boring almost as speedily because there is little to do and almost nothing to hear. You push the button and it goes – like a high-speed elevator and just as emotionally involving.
The Supra is very involving – literally. Toyota offers it with a manual transmission, which requires your involvement. As well as skill. This makes driving the Supra emotionally involving and that causes people to desire it and cherish it.
Things few feel about electric cars or high-speed elevators.
It is particularly interesting that Toyota is offering the manual in the Supra because the Supra is a BMW Z4 under its Toyota-skin. Both cars share the same BMW-built engines. But BMW doesn’t offer a manual Z4. Perhaps because BMW has “committed” to the “transition” to electric cars – and a manual Z4 would be too much a draw away from electric high-speed elevators on wheels.
Toyota also has a souped-up GR version of the Corolla on deck – also with a manual – and for a bit more than half the price of a $35k “entry-level” electric car. With 100 percent more personality and so, emotional interest.
Toyota also hangs tough in terms of not nixing the V6 that is still available in the Camry sedan – which is one of just two new sedans in the mid-sized/family car class that still offers one. The other one that does being the Dodge Charger – which Dodge has already announced will be “transitioned” come 2024.
But where the rubber really hits the road is Toyota’s commitment to hybrids – vehicles that eliminate the EeeeeeeVeeeeee affordability and practicality problems by not costing that much more than an otherwise-similar non-electric car and by not forcing the owner of the thing to arrange his life – and his work – around range-recharge.
It is interesting – it is telling – that the forces pushing electric cars in the name of staving off the “imminent” “crisis” of the “climate” are uninterested in and even actively hostile toward hybrids, which are affordable and which do not suffer from the practicality problems that beset EeeeeeVeeees. You would think – if the motive of the people pushing EeeeeeeeeVeeees really is to stave off the “imminent” “crisis” they assert is going to kill us all if we don’t “transition” that they would be gangbusters boosting hybrids, precisely for that reason.
What good is a (supposedly) “zero emissions” electric car if nine out of ten people cannot afford – or cannot afford to deal with it? Wouldn’t a partially electric car – a hybrid – that is at the very least an almost-zero-emissions vehicle that nine out of ten people could afford and would want to buy because it does not require them to plan their lives around range-recharge be preferable? Would it not be a more effective way to salve the supposedly “imminent” “crisis”?
The question answers itself.
And that answers another question – about the actual motives of the people pushing the “transition” to EeeeeeeVeeeeees that nine out of ten people can’t afford and/or can’t afford to deal with.
Toyota appears to understand that. And – more – seems opposed to that. It is probably only because Toyota understands that it cannot make money by not selling cars. But that is a perfectly honorable motive.
It is interesting – in itself – that it has become exceptional for a businesses to be concerned primarily with making a profit, by offering people what they want to buy and can afford to buy. The trending thing seems to be to tell the “client” what he’ll buy – and pay.
Thank the Motor Gods for Toyota.
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