The styling and design of future Toyotas will undergo a revolution under a plan hatched late last year by company president Akio Toyoda. Toyoda personally asked Tokuo Fukuichi to take over as chief officer in the design group and “short circuit” the company’s current design processes in an attempt to create “much more characterful” future models.
Fukuichi has been the guiding hand behind a new number of Toyota models, including the highly regarded 1989 Previa MPV. Talking to Autocar, Fukuichi said he had been asked to return to Toyota to produce “cool cars” for Toyota and Lexus.
“They don’t have to have a meaning. They just have to be cool,” he said. “I think that another big hurdle for the future is the styling of our hybrid cars. We need to establish an image of eco and fun, not just eco.”
Fukuichi went on to explain, in his view, the consequences of Toyota’s convoluted design process. “We have a problem in that many of our cars have good proportions but they are not memorable. Too much time is spent on refinement. It is good for quality, but it does not make for character.”