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Toyota India flagged off the Five Continents Drive - Asia 2019-2020 in Bangalore on 16 September 2019. The cross country expeditionary drive commenced in Bangalore, India and will conclude at Hanoi, Vietnam in 2020.
The Indian leg of the journey will see participants driving from Bangalore to Delhi in cars from Toyota India's portfolio. Cross-country motor expeditions and overland car expeditions have been a part of mankind's history as most of land explorations in the modern age were done using 4x4 cars.
Fast forward several decades, and Toyota is using such expeditions for a completely different purpose. Toyota, like most ardent Japanese companies believes in Japanese work concepts and philosophies.
One of them is ‘Genchi Genbutsu', wherein employees go to the source first to collect the facts. The Toyota Five Continents Drive too is dedicated to going out into the real world, meeting real users and taking feedback to develop better cars.
The Toyota Five Continents Drive started in 2014 and explored the Australian continent and the harsh terrains in it. The next three editions of the drive explored North America, South America, Europe and Africa.
The fifth and final edition of the drive will now explore eight countries in Asia. The drive was flagged off from Bangalore and the convoy will travel through Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan before reaching Delhi.
Along the way, the convoy members will interact with Toyota customers, dealerships and record data of the vehicles and their performance. The Indian leg of the journey consists of vehicles from Toyota India's product line-up.
The convoy was led by the venerable Toyota Land Cruiser, which is arguably the best overland vehicle. Following it were the Toyota Innova, Fortuner, Camry, Glanza, Yaris, Corolla Altis and a Maruti Suzuki Brezza. Yes, you read that right.
The Maruti Suzuki Brezza was a part of the convoy because a few Suzuki officials too are part of the Indian leg of the drive. From Delhi, the Toyota Five Continents Drive 2019-2020 will head to Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and finally end in Vietnam. The drive will also head to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games.
Mr. Yoichi Minamiyama, the General Manager of Gazoo Racing Company, Toyota Motor Corporation said, "Toyota Gazoo Racing firmly believes that, ‘On the road we learn how to make ever-better cars.' 5 Continents Drive Project was formulated to put this maxim to the test."
"Driven by the philosophy of ‘Genchi Genbutsu', this project enables us to go behind the wheels under harsh road conditions to gain experience and knowledge of the world's roads, listen to customer feedback, encounter global cultures first-hand, and together find solutions to numerous problems and challenges."
"Such experiences further empower us to hone our intuition for making ever-better cars in a manner that cannot be replicated at a desk or on test courses, and thereby contribute to the development of human resources."
Thoughts On Toyota Five Continents Drive From India To Vietnam Being Flagged Off In Bangalore
Toyota makes some of the most reliable cars in the world. However, the company doesn't seem to stop making improvements to its vehicles. The Toyota Five Continents Drive is one of the methods Toyota uses to make its cars behave perfectly in real-world conditions.
With Toyota pushing towards electrification and hybridisation, more such tests would be necessary to retain the bulletproof reliability tag.