TOKYO — The pioneer of the Prius and lean manufacturing wants the world to know it's not falling behind on electrification — or autonomous technology, for that matter.
It's just not one to brag.
"The electrified car started 20 years ago here when we started to introduce the Prius," Didier Leroy, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Corp., said on the sidelines of the auto show here last week. "We have a lot of experience with these kinds of things. We are not behind our competitors."
One reason why that perception may persist in the market is that some people don't realize that hybrid cars such as the Prius are electrified vehicles, Leroy said. He said Toyota is leading the pack in developing solid-state battery technology that will make electric vehicles more palatable to consumers by increasing their range and bringing down their cost.