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Toyota testers embark on Aussie road trip

Real-world test: The convoy made up of four-wheel drives and passenger cars will take 30 people from Toyota’s global headquarters in Japan around Australia in a driving and training project to evaluate vehicles on a large variety of roads.

Thirty Toyota execs to drive 18,000km around Australia to experience real roads

3 Sep 2014

A CONVOY of engineers and executives from Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan has set off on an around-Australia driving and training project to evaluate their vehicles in a wide range of conditions and develop better future cars.

The convoy, which left Toyota’s Altona plant this week, is made up of four-wheel drives and passenger cars including a Corolla, LandCruiser and HiLux with thirty people involved in the company’s global development, including some local employees, making the 18,000km journey.

The participants will experience the various roads the continent has to offer, from busy city streets to outback tracks.

Toyota Australia president Dave Buttner said Australia was chosen for its varied terrain and because it offers 80 per cent of the different road surfaces found in throughout the world which will help in the evaluation of current cars and the development of future models.

“This project is based on our determination to continuously improve our people and vehicles,” Mr Buttner said.

“Toyota has an excellent understanding of Australia’s diverse conditions, but our parent company is taking nothing for granted by undertaking this extensive project in addition to regular vehicle evaluations and testing carried out in Australia.

“It is vital that Toyota’s leading vehicle development personnel get back to basics, experiencing first-hand what it takes to continue satisfying customers with ever-better cars.

“We are also pleased that several local employees will participate in the drive, reinforcing the strong connection between our people and our product range.”

Toyota Australia executive director of sales and marketing Tony Cramb said the driving project highlighted the company’s desire to go further in developing vehicles to be better suited to real-world conditions.

“This extensive project will ultimately enhance Toyota’s ability to provide Australian motorists with vehicles that are even better suited to our conditions and are more engaging to drive,” Mr Cramb said.

“We expect that feedback from local dealers and customers around this vast continent will also contribute to the development of ever-better cars,” he said.

The convoy is expected to take 10 weeks to complete its journey around Australia before arriving back in Altona mid-November.

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