Toyota Completes New Center for Ever-Better Cars

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) has commenced the full operation of its research and development facility, the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama. The facility straddles the cities of Toyota and Okazaki.

Accordingly, the facility will drive vehicle development as Toyota strives to build ever-better cars. Thus, serving as a place where roads refine cars and the people who make them.

Cutting-Edge Digital Equipment

The construction of the facility began in April 2018 following site development work. The central area, which features a country road test course, began operation in April 2019. Thereafter, the eastern area also started operations and features a high-speed test course and a specialized test course reproducing particular road conditions.

The development of new models passed through at the facility, such as the Lexus IS announced in 2020. Thus, enabling the delivery of vehicles that have been refined on test courses to customers around the world.

Meanwhile, the visitor building will be a place for co-creation beyond boundaries with business partners and suppliers. It will serve as an open environment for innovation, encouraging new ideas through close interaction with cars in a way that is only possible at a development center.

The new Toyota facility will employ cutting-edge digital equipment to promote agile development. That is, integrating real car manufacturing with digital technology.

The vehicle development building serves as a business and development center for Lexus and GR companies. Emulating the look and feel of a pit at the Nürburgring, members from all functions, including planning and design, development and engineering, and prototyping and evaluation, will gather in one place and develop cars together to find issues by driving them on the test courses and repeatedly making improvements.

Sustainable Facility

Environmental conservation was a foremost consideration in the construction of the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama. Specifically, around 60 percent of the total site area consists of preserved original trees and greenery. In addition, newly developed green spaces are also visible as the site was able to keep the natural environment.

Toyota intends to continue cooperating with experts, local governments, and members of the local community in the vicinity of the facility to conduct environmental conservation initiatives. In doing so, Toyota will promote coexistence with communities as a facility in harmony with nature.

Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda said, “It has been nearly 30 years since the conceptualization of this project began. We have been committed to making this facility a place that would bring smiles to the faces of everyone living in the community and make them happy that Toyota came to Shimoyama. This ‘everyone’ includes not only the humans who are here today but also the plants and animals who have lived here even longer.”

Moreover, Toyoda noted around 3,000 people, including development members and test drivers from GR and Lexus, will drive, break, and improve cars in the new facility.

“Although it is not a production plant, Shimoyama-made cars will drive on every road in the world and bring smiles to many people’s faces. We would like to express our gratitude for everyone’s support and once more express Toyota’s dedication to making ever-better cars, which will accelerate even more in Shimoyama.”

-4 April 2024-