[Presentation and Photos] Century World Premiere


Presentation by Simon Humphries

Good afternoon, everyone.

Today marks a special moment for a car at the very pinnacle of the Toyota portfolio―Century.

Century is a singular automobile representing the height of Japanese sensibilities.

Born as the pride of Toyota, Century has become the pride of Japan.

It takes a nation to build a Century.

And that nation is changing.

But to understand the future, we must first understand the past.

Every great product is created by great people.
Through those products, they inspire ever greater accomplishments.

Century was named in honour of one of those individuals.

First introduced in 1967, Century commemorated the centenary of the birth of Sakichi Toyoda, founder of the Toyota Group.

The principles of disciplined creativity that Sakichi lived and worked by remain the core principles of Toyota to this day.

During the development of the first Century in the 1960’s, Japan was still a rising economy.
Toyota was yet to compete with exotic imported luxury cars.

When Shoichiro Toyoda commissioned Century, it was a huge gamble.

For over a year, Shoichiro-san worked day and night embedded in the Century team led by Chief Engineer Kenya Nakamura.

Cutting-edge technology alone was not enough―they needed to embrace Japan’s heritage and cultural values to create something completely new and unique.

The philosophy that gave birth to Century was handed down from generation to generation.

Throughout this time, Shoichiro-san remained personally involved in the development of all three generations of Century.

For the most recent sedan in 2018, I witnessed this attention to detail firsthand.

Over 90 years old at the time, his single-minded vision for Century was unclouded.

I remember being taken aback by the detail of his questions, down to the exact position
of the rear seats.

But millimeter by millimeter, degree by degree…he led us to see what he saw.

To explain this focus,I need you to imagine a day in the life of a Century customer…
…often an individual for whom public service extends to every movement…in every moment they are seen.

…Where arrival and departure are the first and last impressions they imbue.

The elegance of the transition from public to private realms is an art in itself.

Century’s role was to make that transition as natural and seamless as possible.

His greatest lesson to us…

The key to the finest attention to detail in car-making…is to show the finest attention to detail…in customer understanding.

And that customer is changing…

New generations are leading new industries, with new ways of thinking, and new ways of working.

Akio Toyoda was acutely aware of this.

He knew that Century had to change.

But he also believed that it had the potential to move with the times without sacrificing what it stood for…

He inspired us to embrace those changing times and take a more adventurous path.

A Century that was…
Dignified but bold…
Thoughtful but confident…
Subtle but expressive…

Century’s phoenix motif could not be more fitting…

The opening of a new era…

Ladies and gentleman, a Century for the next century!

I think you’ll agree, this is a bold addition to the Century legacy.

I remember when we first showed the car to Akio-san, his reaction was a simple, “wow!”.

A completely new direction,but still very much a Century.

And together with the sedan,the new vehicle was worthy to stand at the apex of Toyota.

The two wings of the phoenix.

So how did we get to this answer?

It all revolves around the requirements of a unique group of customers.

They need space to work, but also to rest.

They want space to converse, but also to escape.

They seek space to think, but also be inspired.

They value privacy, but also embrace public life…

That is, we needed to create a car that allowed the customer to curate their own personal experiences – both practically and emotionally.

The result is a flagship like no other… and it’s uniquely Japanese.

This architecture allows customers to seamlessly move between experiences, by the minute and in the moment.

…And at the centre of this world is the rear seat.

When concentration and productivity is a necessity, everything you need is at your fingertips, but never in your way.

Not only practical elements, but also creating just the right distance for privacy between passenger and driver…

But productivity also requires inspiration and creativity…space to think and relax.

As the quietest car we make, Century is the perfect environment.

At any speed, occupants can converse naturally without raising their voice.

With the plug-in powertrain the maijority of everyday journeys will be silent―and zero emission.

This, together with four-wheel-steering and four-wheel drive, will allow professional drivers even greater control over vehicle dynamics, providing an even smoother ride for all passengers.

Within this serene environment, you can freely choose the lighting and acoustics to suit your mood…

From electrochromatic glass…
…to an audio system that taps into Japan’s experience in creating some of the world’s finest musical instruments.

But there are times when sleep is the only answer…

Take off your shoes…
fully stretch out…

…And recline into a cocoon-like environment- your own private oasis.
And these features are just the start…

Naturally, every Century can be tailormadeto your requirements…

Whether that’s colour or materials…
or seat configurations…

or even down to how you choose to alight from the vehicle on arrival…

In other words, you can even choose your own door…

Whether thats the ultra wide-opening swing door…
or maybe something more dramatic.

How about that for an entrance?

Rest assured, when your journey comes to an end, you will step out of Century refreshed.

The opportunities are only limited by your imagination…

If you want to drive the vehicle yourself at the weekend, the GRMN will certainly not disappoint…

The possibilities…are endless and open to discussion…

At Toyota, we believe in the value of Freedom in Motion for everyone, whatever their situation or position…

Within this,the role of chauffeur-driven mobility cannot be underestimated.

The car is an expression and extension of the customer’s values
Whether that be the sleek elegance of the zero-emission, fuel cell Crown sedan,
Or the ultimate power and space of the Alphard and Vellfire…

we provide the opportunity for people to choose how they wish to express themselves.

Century sits at the tip of Toyota’s vision for chauffeur-driven mobility.

It is bold and dynamic, but still retains its discerning taste…
It’s inherently simple, but also has great depth…

It is modern, but still has a connection to its heritage…

Century embodies everything that’s good about Japanese sensibilities, both aesthetically and conceptually.

The heritage of tomorrow is the innovation of today.

Let’s change the future of cars!

Kuruma no mirai wo kaete iko!

Thank you very much for your time.


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