Akio Toyoda Had the Courage to Predict the Current EV Debacle

On Nov. 25, 2022, I ran a blog entry that reported on the severe criticism that then-Toyota-President Akio Toyoda [sic] was receiving for his skepticism that charging infrastructure and consumer preferences were ready for an immediate full switch to electric vehicles. Because he had the courage to keep Toyota focused on hybrids, consumers now have more of what they need and want. As a result Toyota prospers. In a capitalist system, firms run by executives with foresight and courage receive their just reward.

(p. B1) TOKYO—Gasoline-electric vehicles are flying off dealer lots in the U.S. and generating a windfall for the reigning hegemon of hybrids, Toyota Motor.

Toyota on Tuesday [February 6, 2024] forecast a record $30.3 billion net profit for the fiscal year ending March thanks to higher sales of hybrid vehicles in all of its major markets. The results sent Toyota shares up 4.8% in Tokyo to close at a record high.

Hybrid sales grew last year at a faster clip than sales for pure electric vehicles in the U.S. and some other markets. Signs have emerged that the EV push might have gotten ahead of U.S. consumers who are worried about charging problems and higher prices. That has steered them toward less expensive hybrids, which can be filled up with gasoline.

Automakers that had been rushing to pivot toward full EVs are now reconsidering. General Motors said last week it would introduce some plug-in hybrid models in North America after facing pressure from dealers. Ford Motor said last year it would seek to quadruple its hybrid sales in the next five years.

For the full story, see:

River Davis. “Toyota Is Cashing In As Hybrid Sales Boom.” The Wall Street Journal (Wednesday, February 7, 2024): B1-B2.

(Note: bracketed date added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date February 6, 2024, and has the title “Toyota Cashes In on Booming Hybrid Sales.”)

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