In a recent interview, Takero Kato, the president of Toyota‘s recently launched Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) factory, shed light on the collaboration with China’s leading electric vehicle (EV) maker, BYD. This partnership is instrumental in shaping Toyota’s foray into the electric sedan market and sets the stage for future advancements in next-generation EVs.
Toyota’s BEV Factory, initiated in May, stands out as a dedicated unit focused on propelling the development of the brand’s upcoming electric vehicles. Unlike conventional factories, this unit operates with a comprehensive approach, consolidating “development, production, and business” under a single leader – Takero Kato.
The key strategy behind this unconventional approach is to accelerate collaboration with external partners to ensure the creation of competitive EVs. Kato, at the helm, aims to leverage the strengths of collaborations to propel Toyota’s position in the rapidly evolving electric vehicle landscape.
The collaboration with BYD, a prominent player in the Chinese EV market, took shape with the joint development of Toyota’s first electric sedan, the bZ3. This venture commenced in 2018 during a pivotal business trip to China.
In his reflections on the collaboration, Kato emphasized the eye-opening experience of witnessing the competitiveness of Chinese components. He expressed admiration for the cutting-edge equipment and manufacturing processes employed by BYD, ones not commonly used in Japan. Kato’s candid revelation during the interview was, “For the first time, I came face to face with the competitiveness of Chinese components. We’re in trouble!”
The insights gained from the collaboration with BYD are expected to play a pivotal role in enhancing Toyota’s electric vehicle capabilities. As the automotive industry undergoes a significant transformation towards electrification, Toyota’s strategic partnerships and its BEV Factory’s innovative approach position the brand for a promising future in the world of electric mobility. Read Similar Story