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Tue 30 Aug 2022

Toyoda reiterates importance of WRC for Toyota

President of Toyota Akio Toyoda talked of the FIA World Rally Championship's importance to the Toyota brand when he attended Ypres Rally Belgium last month.

The head of Toyota was on-site in Belgium to experience Toyota’s new hydrogen-powered concept GR Yaris alongside WRC legend Juha Kankkunen. Hydrogen-powered cars are a major foundation in Toyota’s research and development into future alternative fuel sources.

Speaking to the press on Sunday following the rally-ending Wolf Power Stage, Toyoda expressed the importance of the WRC in increasing the value of the Yaris brand globally.

“Yaris is becoming more popular in the European region but not only there. We have changed to the name Yaris all over the world," he said. “The name Yaris is kind of a symbol for Toyota in motorsport, which I really think has helped to increase the value of Toyota.”

Having driven the Power Stage, Toyoda was encouraged by the thousands of spectators he witnessed roadside. “This Power Stage with all the spectators is special. I really feel the enjoyment of the WRC,” he enthused, while also praising the work being done at making the championship truly global.

“The FIA chooses various places all over the world. Japan is also included which is really important for Japanese rally fans to see the world-level of motorsports with world-class drivers and co-drivers. I think that is kind of exciting.”

Asked of his impression of 2022 superstar driver Kalle Rovanperä, the Toyota President joked of a challenge he has for the youngster.

“He likes to drive donuts. I am also good at donuts. One day I would like to compete with Kalle to see who makes the best donuts!”

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