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Customers are driving agenda for sustainable mobility solutions


As New Zealand drivers and fleet buyers become more attuned to climate change and the need to decarbonise the country’s transport system, Toyota New Zealand is focusing its efforts to provide mobility solutions that meet all of its customers’ needs while reducing their impact on the planet.

Providing multiple mobility options has always been a strength of the Toyota brand in New Zealand, with a wide offering from sub-compacts to large SUVs, utes and vans. This unique and market leading feature of Toyota is being expanded to include multiple power train options that enable customers to shift to electrified solutions as their next newest vehicle.

In his introduction to the Toyota New Zealand 2023 Sustainability Report, Chief Executive Neeraj Lala, says Toyota’s commitment to customers is to provide an electrified option in all models as fast as possible.

“Serving customers and helping them transition to electrified vehicles that are affordable and accessible is at the forefront of everything we do and is what customers rely on us to help lead them into the future,” he says.

An example of the decarbonising transition is the iconic Toyota Corolla – a steadfast model in the global Toyota portfolio. Toyota has sold 53.4 million Corollas in its lifetime. But Corolla is not resting on its past glory; it is now only available in New Zealand as an electrified hybrid and continues to evolve with the introduction of a hybrid SUV version – the Corolla Cross.

Mr Lala says vehicles such as the hybrid Corolla, RAV4 and Highlander are enormously popular with domestic and commercial customers as they offer full mobility combined with meaningful fuel and carbon savings.

“The shift to focusing on electrified models – from hybrids to plug-in hybrids and battery electric vehicles in early 2024 – is enabling us as a brand to reduce tailpipe emissions from all vehicles we sell and meet our Clean Car Standard obligations,” he says.

The 2023 Toyota Sustainability Report shows Toyota New Zealand is on track to achieve its ambitious 2030 emissions targets for the vehicles it sells and for its business operations.

“We are cutting carbon emissions from passenger vehicles, and our ambitious science-based targets of a minimum 46% reduction by 2030 are more than goals, they’re a driving force across our entire business, from operations to our product line-up,” Neeraj Lala says.

What sets Toyota New Zealand apart from its competitors is its accountability of the entire vehicle’s environmental impact.

“We’re not just reducing emissions, we’re the first to consider a vehicles entire lifespan in our reduction goals. As a founding signatory to the Climate Leaders' Coalition, we take our role in the country’s journey towards decarbonisation seriously. We’re setting the bar for the automotive industry in New Zealand,” he says.

In line with global commitments, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. With specific reduction targets, Toyota New Zealand commits to ambitious science-aligned targets, including the reduction of tailpipe carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions from sold vehicles.

“Delivering an exceptional customer experience and reducing emissions remains at the forefront of our business strategy. We are also addressing our social impact with community investments and support of community organisations in every town or city where the Toyota flag flies,” Mr Lala says.

The 2023 Sustainability Report includes updates on environmental and social impact initiatives, including a new partnership with RYDA, the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness programme.

“Our greatest challenge is reaching net-zero carbon while ensuring mobility for all. But we are also committed to providing affordable, accessible, and safe mobility for every Kiwi, making a positive impact on both our planet and communities,” he says. 

As well as taking responsibility for its social and environmental impact, Toyota New Zealand prides itself on the trust it holds with its customers.

“We are proud to see our strong reputation continue progressing three places, to fourth in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index, making us the only car brand in the Top 50,” Mr Lala says.

Toyota reputation is built on trust, fairness, leadership, and responsibility. These values align strongly with the company’s long held determination to incorporate sustainability targets within its manufacturing and supply chain. For example, it recently shifted the transport of its spare parts from the Port of Napier to its Manawatū warehouse from road to rail, saving 725 truck trips and 400 tonnes of carbon.

The report showcases Toyota New Zealand’s commitment to community impact, with initiatives such as the Waka Aronui social leasing scheme, a partnership with The Ākina Foundation, Manukau Urban Māori Authority, with start-up and pilot funding provided by Toyota, the Tindall Foundation (which provided a $200,000 low interest impact investment loan), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Waka Kotahi and Auckland Council. Together, they provided Manukau 20 families with low-emission hybrid vehicles on an affordable set monthly lease, which includes maintenance, registration, and insurance.

The newly launched Toyota Store Citizenship Award also reflected the importance of mobility in the regional communities with the award going to the Community Moover at Ebbett Toyota. The scheme lends a free 10-seater Toyota Hiace van to non-profit organisations, schools, local sports teams and other groups for event transportation.

The 2023 Sustainability Report reflects Toyota New Zealand’s dedication to addressing environmental and societal challenges, with a focus on reducing emissions, improving safety, and enhancing the wellbeing of individuals in the communities it operates in.

Toyota is driving towards a better, more sustainable future for New Zealand, making sure no Kiwi is left behind.

Read our Sustainability Report.