Jack Hollis: 2018 Chicago Auto Show Remarks
February 09, 2018
As prepared for:
Jack Hollis, Group Vice President and General Manager, Toyota Division
2018 Chicago Auto Show
February 8, 2018
McCormick Place Convention Complex
Thank you for taking time out of your morning to be here, and for those of you watching online, hello from Chicago!
Toyota loves The Windy City, and we’re always excited to be here. Chicago is where Toyota loves to unveil some of our coolest stuff. You know, stuff that likes to get dirty, and that looks phenomenal with mud caked on its tires.
We definitely have some exciting vehicles to share with you today.
But before we rip those covers off. How’s your 2018 going so far? We’re only in February, but as a brand, we’re off to a WINNING start! Not only are sales strong right now, but we’re embarking on a companywide mission that means a lot to us.
Supporting the Olympics and Paralympics is an honor, and we’re extremely proud to stand behind the world-class men and women of Team USA.
In fact, everyone is in Pee-ong Chang for the start of the 23rd Olympic Winter Games later today. The culmination of countless training hours comes down to the next 17 days.
By now, you've probably all seen the “Start Your Impossible” theme in our Olympic messaging. This is truly more than a slogan to us. It marks Toyota’s commitment to support the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable society where everyone
has the freedom to move, and the ability to reach their potential.
Before the Games begin, we wanted to share a quick message from one of our team ambassadors to you.
Well thank you, Ashley. We wish all of our athletes the best of luck, and I know I’m looking forward to seeing Team USA bring home some hardware.
Oh, and on another note, we just recently became a Global Partner of the Special Olympics, and we are honored to be sponsoring the 50th Anniversary Ceremony this year right here in Chicago where it all began in 1968.
Just like numbers in sports, numbers are important to us as well. Get a hold of these:
In 2017, we hit record sales of trucks and SUVs. That means we posted our sixth consecutive year of increases. Sounds pretty good, right? The reality is just about everyone is doing well with trucks and SUVs right now, but for us here’s the difference: guests are actually using our vehicles to get out and explore to get dirty to never avoid a mud hole, to crawl over hat rock pile, to let loose and just have fun.
We know this because they’re buying the trucks that have the capability to get there!
Since 1979, we’ve offered home-grown performance packages from Toyota Racing Development, which most of you know and love as TRD. Did you know that more than 40 percent of all Tundras, Tacomas and 4Runners sold in 2017 were equipped with a TRD package?
A staggering 56 percent of Tacomas sold were TRD grades. Amazing! Nowadays, more than ever, guests look to our trucks and SUVs as leaders in performance, capability and safety technology.
That brings us to the three vehicles under these silks. Now, we’ve recently shown you some very cool concepts, like FT-AC and FT-4X -- two vehicles that break out of the confines of traditional SUVs. But today, we’re not showing you another concept. Our TRD engineers have crafted new vehicles for our most adventurous guests. Tapping into our rich racing and off-road heritage. That includes our support of the great Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, and what we learned during CJ Greave’s 2017 TORC Pro 4
And, drawing inspiration from Martin Truex Jr.’s 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Man, that’s a lot to take from, at Toyota we have a storied history of building awesome trucks, and these vehicles put an exclamation point on that legacy.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce our newest batch of trail dominating, off-road vehicles the 2019 Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner TRD Pros.
Pretty impressive, huh?
The TRD Pros you see right here represent our flagship off-roaders. So, you wanna get off the pavement and explore? Then grab one of these bad boys and go! They’ve won the Baja 1000. They’ve scaled volcanoes. They’ve braved the frigid Arctic. They’ve even cut through the jungles of Vietnam.
TRD Pros cater to the adventurist that wants a vehicle just as tough as they are. Safe to say they’re up for just about anything, anytime and anywhere.
And how do we know that? Simple, because they are equipped for it! This year, all TRD Pros will ride on Fox Internal Bypass Shocks tuned by our very own TRD engineers. These are not simply off-the-shelf parts, folks. These are tailor made.
As I mentioned before, lessons learned in racing led to the technology you see here. The shocks’ internal bypasses allow us to precisely tune damping, which means guests get a comfortable ride on their commute, and incredible capability in the whoops, on the trail or on the rocks.
Not only that but the front shocks are paired with TRD springs that offer additional lift to enhance off-road performance and provide an aggressive stance. Out back the shocks
feature a piggyback reservoir that houses additional oil to ensure peak performance in the most demanding situations. That’s some next-level stuff right there!
Fortunately, TRD Pros also look the part. Inside, you’ll find bold TRD Pro branding throughout. Black is the name of the game outside. There are black TRD Pro badges, and unique TRD Pro wheels. Underneath the front ends is a TRD Pro skid plate that has iconic TRD red lettering. My favorite part, though is the vintage-inspired signature black grille. In true TRD Pro fashion, there are only a handful of colors available. Plus, one totally exclusive option. This year that color is Voodoo Blue, borrowed from the beloved FJ Cruiser.
Oh! Before I forget. Let’s talk about the part that’s impossible to ignore. You no doubt noticed the Tacoma is wearing some new hardware. Yeah that’s the new TRD Desert Air Intake. TRD designed it to help Tacoma’s engine perform at its best in dusty environments.
So, instead of having its air intake near the wheel well like it usually is TRD brought it up out of the dust line and into clean air.
I call that innovation! The Tacoma TRD exhaust will feature a new black-chrome tip. Tacoma also features Rigid Industries LED fog lights. And like 4Runner, it gets a standard premium JBL Audio system with subwoofer.
Now, let’s take a look at the Tundra TRD Pro. It gets the full Fox setup. Rigid Industries
LED fog lights, and a new hood scoop for added flair. Out back, the throaty TRD dual exhaust is enhanced with new black-chrome tips.
The go-anywhere 4Runner gets even more capable in TRD Pro form, and those new Fox shocks only enhance its off-highway abilities. The black 17-inch TRD wheels help complement the black badging on the exterior. Up top, a new TRD roof rack offers utility
to stash additional cargo.
As you know, safety is the utmost priority on all Toyotas, even our most capable off-road trucks. So, every TRD Pro features our Star Safety System. On top of that the Tundra and Tacoma both come standard with Toyota Safety Sense. It’s obvious these 2019 TRD Pros have imposing style. But looks aside, they are without a doubt our most impressive off-road vehicles.
They further cement the rich legacy of our TRD brand. People can’t stop talking about their love for our vehicles either. Our TRD-equipped trucks and SUVs are some of the most socially shared vehicles in the world. TRD is the #1 hashtag for Toyota on Instagram, and it’s that organic, honest appreciation for our vehicles that makes people want to share their adventures on social media.
Let’s Go Places has never been more fitting for a group of vehicles. The new 2019 TRD Pros are ready for your next adventure. When the going gets tough that’s where you’ll find TRD Pros.
By the way, after you get done checking out these trucks and snapping a few pictures, let us know on social media what you think using the TRD and TRDpro hashtags. And be sure to stop by our coffee bar and pick up a TRD Pro Yeti tumbler. We know everyone is excited to see these vehicles up close, but please allow a few moments for photographers to capture images.
Thank you again for joining us. Have a great day!