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Somewhere along the way, many automakers were convinced the only way to move forward was to fully adopt electric vehicles. Toyota wasn’t one of these automakers. Akio Toyoda took a much more reserved stance on the EVs, and it already beginning to pay off for the company. The largest automaker in the world has often been slower to adopt new technology than other brands, and it seems the slow move toward electrification is another example of Toyota taking the smart and slow approach.

Toyota was laughed at for being slow to adopt EVs

Government agencies around the world pushed for full EVs through legislature, creating stricter emissions standards. This stricter standard and a push for electric vehicles caused some automakers to skip over hybrids and PHEVs to go directly to the full EV side of the market.

Although Toyota has one EV, the bZ4X, the company hasn’t gone all in for EVs like other automakers. While other brands laughed at Toyota for being slow to adopt EVs, the brand began transitioning its lineup away from naturally aspirated engines to push for more hybrids and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Some thought this foolish, but it seems Akio Toyoda knew what he was doing.

Toyota continues to see record profit and sales

According to CBT News, Toyota sales increased by 8.3% from April to September, reaching a record 5.6 million vehicles sold during the period. This puts Toyota on a fast track to experience incredible gains over the next several months as well.

Sales increases by region

  • Africa – 22%
  • Middle East – 17%
  • North America – 9.4%
  • Europe – 7%
  • China – less than 1%
  • Japan – 34%

China is a global leader in the EV market and requires strict numbers of EVs to be sold, which explains the miniscule increase in the country. Still, most markets show strong sales increases despite increased interest rates and prices.

Could this strategy hurt the company long-term?

The first wave of the EV boom seems to be cooling off with decreasing sales figures. High prices, inadequate charging times, and unavailable charging stations create a market in which many consumers, including Americans, are sticking with gas-powered vehicles.

Recently, Jalopnik reported GM announced delaying the opening of an EV pickup truck factory in Michigan, and Ford is considering cutting work shifts at a plant building the F-150 Lightning.

While American automotive giants pull back on EVs, Toyota is pushing forward with hybrids. In the United States, Hybrid sales have taken off and are growing at a much faster pace than the general car market. This has caused other automakers to shift toward hybrids and PHEVs, which is a sector Toyota already dominates.

The record profits and sales reported by Toyota could position the brand as a leader in the next wave of EVs. Toyota recently announced progress toward solid-state batteries, which is expected to be the future of EVs that can actually compete with gas and diesel-powered vehicles.

Although Toyota only offers one electric vehicle in its brand lineup, several hybrid models, including the Prius, Corolla Cross Hybrid, Sequoia, and Tundra, are already part of the mix. More hybrids and PHEVs wearing the Toyota and Lexus brand names are being offered, making it possible to have the emissions and fuel savings desired without going all-in for EVs.

Toyota once again proves it understands the automotive market better than other automakers.


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