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In response to Bloomberg’s “Toyota’s Sato Beats Previous CEOs With First-Year Stock Gains”

By Deanna Noël

On Mar 31, 2024 Bloomberg ran Toyota’s Sato Beats Previous CEOs With First-Year Stock Gains. The following letter to the editor was sent to Bloomberg, but the publication refused to run it.

With consumer demand for EVs at an all-time high, it is short-sighted to praise a mere three months of sales given that Toyota refuses to prepare for a larger movement to transition to electric vehicles. Toyota sales topped 11 million vehicles last year, but less than 1% were fully electric.

Toyota – which has actively lobbied against rules intended to clean up vehicle pollution and accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles – is sowing the seeds of long-term financial loss by prioritizing gas-powered hybrid vehicles. Unfortunately, this will also come at the expense of worsening the climate crisis. 

Despite Toyota’s claims of low demand for EVs, in 2023, Americans purchased a record 1.2 million EVs, a 45% increase from 2022. Perhaps consumers don’t purchase Toyota’s electric vehicles because there is only one on the U.S. market, and it has middling reviews

Auto companies like Toyota do not respond to demand—they create it. But as consumers call for more EVs on the market and international companies like BYD offer EVs that are more affordable and accessible to drivers, Toyota should be more concerned about its long-term financial health than its short-term success selling polluting gas-powered cars. 

Deanna Noël is climate campaigns director for the Climate Program at Public Citizen based in Washington, D.C.