Toyota also unveiled a new Prius wagon that will go on sale this spring in Japan and then in the summer here in the U.S.
It's all part of expanding Toyota's hybrid line-up with 10 new models.
Smart move given Toyota's dominance in hybrids and with gas prices moving higher. But beyond that, Akio Toyoda wants Toyota to break with its reputation as making solid, but mundane cars, trucks and SUV's. In other words, Toyoda want Toyota to have style and passion. "We want to deliver cars that will be stimulating and even inspiring and that will thereby earn smiles from our customers," said Toyoda.
I'm encouraged by the message, but waiting to see if Akio Toyoda can execute his plan to make Toyota less bureaucratic. For 50 years Toyota grew quickly (sometimes too quickly) with a formula articulated and sent out from it's headquarters in Japan.
Stylish, heart thumping cars? Rarely.
Getting Toyota to be a more nimble, more engaging company will not be easy and will take time.
Good luck Mr. Toyoda.
Click on Ticker to Track Corporate News:
- Ford Motor
- Toyota Motor
- Honda Motor
___________________________ Questions? Comments?BehindTheWheel@cnbc.comand Follow me on Twitter @LeBeauCarNews