A charming turn of events occurred at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon when the automotive community saw Toyota’s charismatic chairman, Akio Toyoda, create waves by bringing a Suzuki Jimny to the esteemed occasion. Toyoda, who is well-known for his love of vehicles and his contribution to adding excitement and performance to the automotive scene, drew attention when he decided to showcase a Suzuki among the Toyota portfolio.
Akio Toyoda: The Enthusiast President of Toyota
The grandson of Toyota’s founder and former CEO, Akio Toyoda is known as the Enthusiast President. He is not like other business executives. Toyoda’s passion for automobiles transcends the confines of the Toyota and Lexus empire, despite the fact that his roots are firmly ingrained in the Toyota heritage. Toyoda displayed not just any automobile, but the Suzuki Jimny, a beloved vehicle among auto aficionados all around the world, at the Tokyo Auto Salon, where automotive dreams come true.
Grand Opening of Morizo Garage
The collection that Toyoda personally assembled, the Morizo Garage, was the focal point of this startling discovery. Toyoda’s alter ego when he indulges in his passion for car racing is the Morizo name. Five exceptional cars were on display in the garage: the classic Suzuki Jimny, a customised GR Corolla, the the elusive iQ GRMN, the Lexus LBX Morizo RR Concept, and an intriguing Century SUV GRMN.
Following the Jimny: Toyota’s Story
The Suzuki Jimny was unquestionably the star of the lineup. There were rumours that Toyota intended to badge-engineer this all-purpose SUV under its name. But rumours have it that Suzuki’s insistence that the Jimny is ingrained in their DNA put a stop to Toyota’s plans to build their own version of the vehicle. One person compared the rejection to asking Toyota to badge-engineer the legendary Land Cruiser.
A Decade of Collaboration
Toyota and Suzuki began working together in 2017, forging a strong commercial partnership focused on growth and cost-sharing. As evidence of their collaboration, Suzuki now owns 0.2% of Toyota, while Toyota now holds a 4.9% share in Suzuki. This partnership has produced a number of projects, yet the Jimny remains a symbol of Suzuki’s autonomy.
The Grand Showcase of Jimny’s
The Suzuki Jimny dominated the show with its rough charm, standing boldly next to other notable cars. Visitors were able to observe not just the variety of Toyoda’s interests in cars, but also the distinctive products from other industry segments at the Morizo Garage.
Toyota’s Unwavering Performance Concentration
Though the Jimny took centre stage in conversations, Toyota’s dedication to performance was clear from the lineup. Toyota demonstrated its commitment to pushing the limits of performance SUVs with the GR Corolla, iQ GRMN, and Lexus LBX Morizo RR Concept. The latter vehicle had a three-cylinder turbocharged engine from the GR Yaris.
Century SUV GRMN: An opulent Unexpected
With its electronically folding back doors that resembled minivans, the Century SUV GRMN brought a hint of elegance to the Morizo Garage. This idea was really interesting; it showed a luxury SUV from Toyota transformed into a sports vehicle with an aggressive exterior and carbon fibre upgrades. It’s unclear if this idea will be put into production.
Car Collection Confessions of Akio Toyoda
Akio Toyoda revealed details about his personal automobile collection in an open admission. He stressed purchasing automobiles from dealerships like any other normal client, despite his high-ranking status. But he freely acknowledged that he had used his position to obtain special edition GRMN models, saying, “I beg them to get just one, and force my way in.” Let me take full advantage of my privilege.”
Toyoda disclosed that he has a few limited edition cars, especially GRMN variants, while also acknowledging his privileged status. His collection at Morizo Garage, which featured cars that each told a tale of passion, teamwork, and the quest of automotive perfection, was a testament to his enthusiasm for distinctive, performance-focused automobiles.
The Autonomy of the Jimny and Toyota’s Legacy
Within the world of automotive partnerships and alliances, Suzuki’s steadfast devotion to its heritage is embodied by the Suzuki Jimny. Even though Suzuki and Toyota are still partners, the Jimny is still a symbol of Suzuki’s independence and the regard it has in the business.
Entering the fascinating realm of Akio Toyoda’s Morizo Garage, the Suzuki Jimny commands attention from fans and starts discussions about cooperation, independence, and performance aspirations. One thing is certain: with Akio Toyoda at the wheel, the automotive industry is in for an exciting ride. However, the future of some of the designs on display is still unknown.
Disclaimer: The details provided in this article are based on available sources and may not be 100% accurate.