Toyota to Focus on Unexpected Designs

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

If the GT 86 is any sign of Toyota‘s future, it most certainly will be a bright and successful one.

Recently president of Toyota’s CALTY Design Research unit, Kevin Hunter, said that the Japanese automaker’s focus for its future models will be unexpected designs. They plan on delivering a big message in years to come that Toyota can be more than just a conservative, mundane brand of automobiles.

Looking to differentiate itself from the competition, Toyota is looking to become a pioneer in the field of design, something that they haven’t really made a priority over the last few years. Most Toyota models were designed based on consumer preferences rather than ingenuity and innovation.

“In the past, let’s face it, we had boring design,” Hunter said. “We’re going to act more instinctively. We’ll continue listening to the customer, but we can’t do creative design only listening to the consumer. They don’t know what they want five years from now. We’re going to make some predictions.”

In the past, Toyota was well-known for performance-oriented vehicles such as its MR2 and Supra, but nowadays its popularity is synonymous with boring models such as the Prius and Camry. Much of its upcoming changes can be attributed to current CEO Akio Toyoda, who often times can be seen sporting a race suit rather than a business suit.

The design message will also spread to Toyota’s luxury brand Lexus, and its sub-brand Scion, targeted to younger consumers. Currently Hunter characterizes Toyota showrooms as a department store – lots of good, but mostly mainstream products. His hope is to transform the entire brand to be more like “select shops” with Scion and Lexus featuring a more boutique approach.

[Source: Wards Auto]

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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  • Bob Bob on May 22, 2012

    So all new Toyota's are gonna look like spaceships? Good. Camry is a nice car, but I would never buy it because of how boring it is.