MOTORSPORTS DRIVES TOYOTA’S NEXT GENERATION OF VEHICLES


The Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival and GR Vios Challenge racing series has given Toyota ample spotlight with Malaysians.

RACING has always been the engine that drives Toyota to build better vehicles and maintain a highly-skilled workforce.

With motorsports being part of Toyota’s identity since 1957, the automobile maker has leveraged its achievements, learnings and experiences competing in motor-racing in fuelling the development of Toyota’s next generation of vehicles.

Toyota later consolidated its motorsports activities under GAZOO Racing (GR) in 2007 and has subsequently introduced its specially-designed and engineered GR performance models.

For Malaysia, GAZOO Racing’s activities began in 2017 when UMW Toyota Motor first introduced the Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival and Vios Challenge racing series.

The festival and series is now into its sixth successive season and is a way for Toyota to inject dynamism, vibrancy and excitement into its brand.

Staying attuned

For any car manufacturer, investments in motorsports have traditionally been set on the promise of “Race on Sunday, Sell on Monday”.

The true test of accomplishment would be for the brand to “Race on Sunday, but whatever the outcome of the results, or even whether you race or not, people will continue to buy your brand on Monday thereafter”.

This is a strategy that has proven to generate significant and impactful gains for Toyota both in terms of branding and sales.

Racing activities have helped reposition Toyota as a dynamic, exciting and performance-driven brand, complementing its already accomplished image of being a reliable and trustworthy brand for vehicle owners.

Toyota is also leading in the online racing (eSports and eRacing) realm with the GR GT Cup Championship currently in its sixth season.

Season Six Round Two which took place on June 3-4 this year at the Sepang International North Circuit featured the first and only night race of the season.Season Six Round Two which took place on June 3-4 this year at the Sepang International North Circuit featured the first and only night race of the season.

Motorsports has also proven to be a successful launching pad for the introduction of special performance-tuned models in Malaysia, namely the GR and GR-Sports models.

This includes the launch of the GR Supra, GR Yaris, GR Corolla, GR 86, Vios GR Sport, Hilux GR Sport and Corolla Cross GR Sport. Models like the Vios GR Sport, Hilux GR Sport and Corolla Cross GR Sport are developed in Malaysia and tailored to the growing local market’s appetite for variants that are beyond the standard showroom models.

Today, there are a total of nine GR Garages nationwide which supports Toyota existing sales and aftersales network of 94 outlets nationwide.

These initiatives combined have significantly contributed to Toyota consolidating its position as the No. 1 non-national make in Malaysia.

The development of cars is better achieved in extreme conditions and is the reason why Toyota competes in motorsports around the world.The development of cars is better achieved in extreme conditions and is the reason why Toyota competes in motorsports around the world.

Gearing up for the long-run

Motorsports will continue to feature prominently in Toyota’s global and domestic initiatives moving forward allowing it to serve niche target audiences whilst offering vehicles for the everyday people.

Toyota plans to roll out more GR and GR-Sport vehicles and offerings in terms of aftermarket parts, accessories and merchandise.

The Toyota GAZOO Racing Festival has created a community for potential car owners to not only see vehicles like the Vios being used in the extreme conditions of racing, but to also become intimately acquainted with other Toyota models in the fleet via product showcases and test drive opportunities.

What motorsports has done for Toyota globally is to inject greater excitement in ownership of its vehicles. This is in addition to the latest technological, safety and comfort features that are already being built into today’s new generation of Toyota cars.

Extreme conditions, like in racing, is the best way to validate Toyota’s technology and products.Extreme conditions, like in racing, is the best way to validate Toyota’s technology and products.

Motorsports is also an effective channel Toyota is using to develop better vehicles in addition to its pursuit of the electrification of vehicles and identifying new sources of renewable energy such as hydrogen.

Another element that cannot be overlooked is passion. The people in Toyota – whether globally or domestically – who involve themselves in motorsports are genuinely passionate about it.

Ultimately, passion is equally important and has a very strong equation in motorsports because it cultivates creativity and innovation; the perseverance and resourcefulness to overcome challenges and obstacles; and develops a strong determination to excel. This is evident with Toyota’s product quality, services, and the strength and capability of its employees.

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