The executive speeches that accompany the launch of new cars at motor shows are typically all the same. Best in class this, emotional that.
Toyoda, making his Detroit debut, apologised for his English and accent, but said he spoke "fluent cars".
"I really love cars, always have, always will. I wanted to be a taxi driver when I grew up... I don't want to sit behind the desk, I want to sit behind the wheel. That's how I can best advise my team and create cars for people who love cars as passionately as I do."
Toyoda then went on to recount when he met journalists at the Pebble Beach Concours in 2011. "They had some very good comments about Lexus..."
He'd even brought some with him. "Lexus cars are well made but boring to drive. Lexus needs to define the brand. Lexus is at a crossroads."
Toyoda said they were "strong opinions, which I took to heart." So much so that Toyoda took direct responsibility for the Lexus brand, and set it up as a separate company with its own design, engineering and marketing budgets.