Toyota’s 5 Continents Drive Project passes through Malaysia

The Toyota 5 Continents Drive Project started in Australia in year 2014 and will be concluded next year when Japan hosts the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The journey travels through five continents with a total distance of approximately 103,000 kms travelled and Asia is the last continent, with the convoy started in the Middle East in February 2019.

Inspired by Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation, the 5 Continents Drive Project aims to make product improvements with a more deeply informed approach, ultimately delivering ever-better cars to customers around the world.

For the Malaysian leg, the convoy officially started from S&D Tama, an authorized Toyota dealer in Penang and was flagged off Mr. Akio Takeyama, Chief Motorsports Officer who is also the Deputy Chairman of UMW Toyota Motor on 5th November.

The route included a drive up the steep slopes of Cameron Highlands, providing an experience of the different humidity levels in the country as well as the road conditions. The route then continued south to Singapore with a stop at UMW Toyota Motor’s head office Shah Alam, Selangor. The participants were briefed on the company’s background, activities, customer profiles, local market conditions and GAZOO Racing (GR) initiatives in Malaysia.

The 5 Continents Drive Project is carried out under the umbrella of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing initiatives. In Malaysia, the GR Brand is one of the key pillar for our brand messaging which includes the Toyota GR Festival, GR Velocity Esports Championship and our most recent introduction is the GR Garage being the first outside of Japan and GR Products showcasing our newly-launched GR Supra.
“We are delighted that Malaysia is included in the Toyota 5 Continents Drive Project, a project that is of high priority to Toyota Motor Corporation,” said Mr. Takeyama. “The varied conditions of roads and traffic should provide the participants with valuable insights that can help them develop ever-better cars for our customers.”

“Toyota has always made reliable cars but today’s customers have more demands, so ‘good’ is no longer enough and we need to offer great cars,” said Ravindran K., President of UMW Toyota Motor. “The Toyota 5 Continents Drive Project should help towards developing ever-better cars.”

There were nine vehicles in this leg of the 5 Continents Drive Project – Hilux, Fortuner, Innova, Vios, Corolla, Rush, CH-R and Yaris.

After the Malaysian leg ends, the convoy will cross over to Singapore. The remaining countries for the Asian leg are Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. In 2020, the 5 Continents Drive Project will continue through China and East Asia before ending in Japan.

Delivering quality and reliable cars has been a passion of Toyota since it was founded in 1937.  Together with the highly-admired Toyota Production System (TPS), Toyota has the most efficient and highly productive manufacturing process and philosophy that has produced millions of cars for many decades.

The 5 Continents Drive Project complements the TPS by enhancing and refining the process of product development in the quest for ever-better cars. It is a demonstration of Genchi Genbutsu, a Japanese term that is also integral in TPS and means ‘to personally view a situation or location so as to have a deeper understanding’ for solving problems or making improvements. To put it simply, Genchi Genbutsu means ‘go and see for yourself’.

Toyota employees have been travelling to the four continents prior to Asia for experiences and knowledge that cannot be gained simply from driving cars on test courses or simulated in climatic chambers.

There have not just been improvements for products but also in manufacturing and white-collar management areas such as logistics, costing, etc. Although the Toyota 5 Continents Drive Project will conclude next year, this is ongoing process and learnings will continue to be implemented into future models as well, thus promoting sustainable development.

Also, happening this weekend is the Toyota Gazoo Racing Festival round two of the third season which will be held at Bandar Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. Entrance is free of charge from 9.00am to 6.00pm on both Saturday and Sunday (9-10 November 2019). Come and experience the former airport transform into a racing track and the Toyota Vios in action.