U.S. Winners of Toyota Dream Car Art Contest Announced

TORRANCE, Calif., March 9, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In the future, there is nowhere cars won't go. From underwater to outer space, cars will not only provide transportation, they can help people in need, they can monitor air quality, and they can provide entertainment. Those are the visions for cars of the future by nine U.S. youth announced today as the national winners of the annual Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.

Now World Contest Semi-Finalists, the artwork by these nine youth advances to represent the United States in competing against entrants from over 80 countries. In August 2016, the top 30 World Winners will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Toyota City, Japan, and participate in an awards ceremony, which includes a tour of a Toyota manufacturing plant. The nine 2016 U.S. Winners were chosen by a national panel of 12 judges who viewed artwork by 32 U.S. finalists; the latter of which had been selected by nearly 1,000 Toyota team members nationwide from a pool of 90 U.S. semi-finalists. The judges were:

Cheech Marin, Actor, Comedian, Director, and Art Collector
Bryan Benedict, Senior Staff Designer, Hot Wheels®
Mike Groff, President & CEO, Toyota Financial Services
William Chergosky, Project Design Mgr., Calty Design Research, Inc.
Dave Kunz, Eyewitness News Automotive Specialist, KABC 7
A.J. Gordon, Automotive Journalist and Host, CarStories.com podcast for Petersen Automotive Museum
Al Smith, Group VP, Service Operations & Corporate Planning, Toyota Financial Services
Ann Bybee, VP, Corporate Strategy, Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility & Program Mgmt., Toyota Financial Services
Karen Ideno, VP of Product and Marketing, Toyota Financial Services
Anthony Salcido, VP & Corporate Controller, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.
Susan Sanborn, Curator & Director, Toyota USA Automobile Museum
John Valadez, Artist

"If you take a look at the artwork these kids created, you see that not only have they designed a dream car, many have incorporated their dream car into an ideal future environment and society," said actor and art collector Cheech Marin. "These are more than aspirational, they are inspirational. These are true pieces of art."

"The best part about being a Hot Wheels designer is creating our very own versions of our dream cars for fans everywhere," said Bryan Benedict, senior staff designer, Hot Wheels. "I was amazed by the creativity of designs submitted in this year's contest and how these children solved real-world problems in such imaginative ways. It's very encouraging to see a new generation of designers create concepts for the car of their dreams."

"The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest is designed to inspire children and young teens to imagine the evolution of transportation in a rapidly changing world," said Mike Groff, President and CEO of Toyota Financial Services. "What we see in these young artists' work is more than cars, but solutions to a variety of social, environmental, and economic issues these kids see around them. They're envisioning a world in which enhanced transportation is making the world a better place."

The Toyota Dream Car Art Contest is a worldwide contest presented annually, designed to inspire creativity in youth and imagine the future of mobility. Winners of the Toyota Dream Car Art Contest in participating countries worldwide are chosen from three age categories (under 8 years old; 8-11 years old; and 12-15 years old), with judging based on three criteria: artistry, uniqueness, and execution of concept. The first international contest was held in 2004 by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan. This is the fifth year of the U.S. contest.

U.S. WINNERS - CATEGORY 1 (Under 8 Years)
Gold: Toyota Fun Car by Daniel Hanxiang Zhou, age 7; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Silver: Toyota Plant Healer by Koiip Lam, age 7; Bayside, New York
Bronze: Weather-Powered Car by Ezra Naphtali Zapler, age 7; Greenville, North Carolina

U.S. WINNERS - CATEGORY 2 (8-11 Years)
Gold: Whale Car by Wenxu Zhong, age 11; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Silver: U.W.C.C. (Underwater Cleaning Car) by Ashley McGinn, age 10; Arcadia, California
Bronze: Food Generator by Xinyi Christine Zhang, age 10; Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

U.S. WINNERS - CATEGORY 3 (12-15 Years)
Gold: Astronomical Toyota Car by Carolina Montoya, age 15; Wasco, California
Silver: Toyota Teleporter by Sophia Mingrou Cui, age 15; Forest Hills, New York
Bronze: Toyota Solar-Powered Green Energy Maker by Erna M. Chiu, age 13; Ann Arbor, Michigan

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world's top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we've built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.8 million cars and trucks (nearly 2.5 million in the U.S.) in 2015 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment. As part of this commitment, we share the company's extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.


PHOTO #1: Hot Wheels senior staff designer Bryan Benedict, Toyota Financial Services CEO Mike Groff, and actor and art collector Cheech Marin, as part of a 12-person panel of judges, help to determine the top nine U.S. winners of the 2016 Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.

PHOTO #2: Journalist Dave Kunz, Hot Wheels designer Bryan Benedict, Toyota Financial Services CEO Mike Groff, and artist John Valadez review artwork by 32 U.S. finalists to determine the top nine U.S. winners for this year's Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.



Highway to Heaven
Catherine Liu Chung, age 12
Theodore, Alabama


Gold Award Winner-Category 3
Astronomical Toyota Car
Carolina Montoya, age 15
Wasco, California

Silver Award Winner-Category 2
Underwater Cleaning Car
Ashley McGinn, age 10
Arcadia, California

Reconnecting Past, Present and Future
Jamie Serin Doo, age 14
Rancho Palos Verdes, California

Three-Way Transport
Nina Huang, age 7
Eastvale, California

Helping the Ocean Car
Joanna S. Kim, age 10
Glendale, California

Dream Car
Nicole Kim, age 15
Los Angeles, California

Hospital Car
Sue Lee, age 4
Beverly Hills, California

My Car Through History to Future
Dora Li, age 10
San Marino, California

Green Angel
YuQian Ma, age 15
Arcadia, California

Kitten Care Car
Annabel Epiphany Vega, age 13
Montclair, California


My School Helper
Kafaina Li, age 11
McDonough, Georgia

Music Car
Megan Serena Wu, age 7
Alpharetta, Georgia


Sea Bin Monster Car
Aarav Shihabuddin Valayil, age 7
Schaumburg, Illinois


All Systems Go!
Brenna K. Litynski, age 14
Crownsville, Maryland


Gold Award Winner-Category 1
Toyota Fun Car
Daniel Hanxiang Zhou, age 7
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gold Award Winner-Category 2
Whale Car
Wenxu Zhong, age 11
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Bronze Award Winner-Category 3
Toyota Solar-Powered Green Energy Maker
Erna M. Chiu, age 13
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Special President's Award
Everyone Can Learn New Knowledge
Wenxin Cui, age 11
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Toyo P.E.T. Space Calamity Car
Adriana Tansioco Nadong, age 7
Livonia, Michigan


Bronze Award Winner-Category 2
Food Generator
Xinyi Christine Zhang, age 10
Monmouth Junction, New Jersey

We Go Places. Everywhere
Leon L. Du, age 6
Holmdell, New Jersey

My Music Racing Car
Iris Pan, age 9
Bridgewater, New Jersey


Silver Award Winner-Category 3
Toyota Teleporter
Sophia Mingrou Cui, age 15
Forest Hills, New York

Silver Award Winner-Category 1
Toyota Plant Healer
Koiip Lam, age 7
Bayside, New York

Toyota Time Traveler (T.T.T.)
Kuipi Lam, age 8
Bayside, New York


Bronze Award Winner-Category 1
Weather-Powered Car
Ezra Naphtali Zapler, age 7
Greenville, North Carolina


Traveling Feeder Car
Ashley Nihal Ayeri, age 14
Ashburn, Virginia

Toyota - We Care
Jamie Park Kim, age 11
Oakton, Virginia

Anyone Can Go Places
Sarah Y. Kim, age 14
Fairfax, Virginia

Flying Hospital
Allan Wang, age 10
Fairfax, Virginia

Sewing Machine Dreams
Clara Elise Merrick, age 7
Washington, D.C.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

CONTACT: Justin Leach (310) 468-5332Source:Toyota Motor Credit Corporation(Toyota Financial Services)