Toyota: We Need to Manage Expectations

Company warns carmakers risk long-term prospect of battery-powered cars by over-promising on what the technology can deliver.

Published: 24-Sep-2009

Toyota Motor Corp., the biggest seller of hybrid autos, said carmakers risk damaging the long- term reputation of battery-powered vehicles by over-promising on what the technology can deliver.

“Managing expectations is critical,” Michael O’Brien, Toyota’s U.S. corporate manager for advanced technology vehicle planning, said at a briefing in Sacramento, California, yesterday. “If consumers are disappointed, market adoption is not guaranteed and that can permanently harm the technology’s image and future market potential.”

Companies need to give accurate estimates for driving ranges and recharge times, particularly because battery-powered cars will be much more expensive than traditional gasoline models, O’Brien said. Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. are among carmakers planning battery-powered autos as environmental concerns spur demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.


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