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TOYOTA CALLS FOR MORE COOPERATION IN AUTO INDUSTRY

 DETROIT, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A Toyota executive speaking here today called for more cooperation between U.S., European and Japanese automakers in developing the basic technology to meet growing government and consumer demands for cleaner, safer, more efficient and recyclable cars and trucks.
 Speaking to an audience of auto industry executives and news media representatives at the annual Automotive News World Congress, Yale Gieszl, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Sales (TMS)- U.S.A., said automakers long ago passed the point where they could serve only customer interests. "Now, we also must serve the interests of society as a whole. Government regulators are imposing a whole new set of product-design considerations on us. We must pay growing attention to everything from minimizing emissions and energy consumption to maximizing safety and recyclability.
 "Although I suspect that the need to tailor our products to various national tastes always will exist, the underlying technology is converging toward a global commonality. This convergence presents opportunities for inter-company cooperation on a global scale unavailable to us before ... the American, European and Japanese automakers have begun this sharing process on a national basis. I suggest that it's time to consider melding these national efforts into a global campaign to minimize the environmental impact and maximize the societal benefit of our products," he added. "None of us is going to back off," he said, "each of us wants a bigger share of the pie. The key is the realization that the pie can be expanded, that this is not a zero sum game."
 He pointed out that "affordability" is the key ingredient necessary for expanding the "pie" of overall vehicle sales. "Escalating product development costs, converging environmental concerns and growing regulations are placing tremendous price pressure on our industry ... our primary common goal is to keep our products affordable. That's the only way to grow the pie." And cooperation on basic technology rather than each company separately pursuing the same goals is one key to maintaining affordability, he added.
 However, Gieszl also noted the benefits of strong inter-company competition. "We at Toyota welcome Detroit's resurgence and this fierce competition," he said. "First, because it proves that automakers can learn from one another. Second, because competition drives the continuous improvement that is the best guarantee of corporate survival. Third, because competition is the only way we can assure a strong and growing economy. And finally, because competition benefits all of our customers by providing the improved products they have a right to expect."
 He also said that Toyota will continue to be a strong competitor in the U.S. market. "We will continue to introduce new cars and trucks into the U.S. market and every one will be the best piece we can put on the board," he said.
 "We also will continue to increase our physical presence in the U.S.," he added. "Our total investment already tops $5 billion. We directly employ nearly 16,000 Americans, paying them more than $660 million annually. We have 390 parts suppliers. Our total U.S. purchases top $5.2 billion. Last year, 40 percent of the cars and trucks we sold here were built in North America and we will continue to push that percentage higher. ... Furthermore, our growing investment in U.S. R&D activities -- now at $300 million and climbing -- is rapidly increasing the involvement of American suppliers in the design phase of our future products, creating more jobs."
 Gieszl closed by noting that the auto industry has to increase cooperation to take advantage of globalization, rather than fighting it with "political sniping and squabbling."
 "Logically, if a company wants to participate in the emerging global market, how can it press for market-opening measures in one country and protection in another? ... It is short-sighted to continue to erect political, cultural and trade barriers at our borders -- and this includes Europe, the U.S. and Japan. To believe that protection will improve the global economy and enhance corporate competitiveness is ignoring the lessons of history. And to believe that politicians can create an effective industrial policy is naive. As industry leaders, we must create our own -- on a global scale ... we must turn emerging technologies into bridges, not barriers. The greening' of our products is too important to society not to share the necessary technology."
 -0- 1/11/93
 CONTACT: John McCandless of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., 313-259-2004/


CO: Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

JB-KJ -- LA025 -- 3765 01/11/93 19:59 EST
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Date:Jan 11, 1993
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