Toyota design chief: future vehicles will have “passion” and “emotion”.

Most consumers associate Toyota vehicles with reliability and efficiency, but innovative, 
evocative styling isn’t really considered the company’s strong suite. However, new global 
design chief Dezi Nagaya wants to put the company’s long-held tradition of conservatism on 
the back burner in favor of a more aggressive, passion-inspiring approach.

“Toyota has been criticized for being quiet and nonoffensive, of having too friendly an image 
while lacking emotion,” Nagaya said during an interview.

“We are going to be more dynamic, more masculine, sportier, with a more obvious design theme 
and a face to represent the company and the brand,” he said. “We have eliminated emotion. We need 
to pump that up.”

But the 50-year-old Toyota veteran, who is one of the creators of the Lexus “L-Finesse” design 
language, needs to walk a fine line with future vehicle designs. He said that Toyota needs to take 
a more emotional approach to styling, but at the same time a deep-rooted conservative component of 
the company’s leadership must be appeased.

Nagaya is also assuming the difficult task of creating a unified corporate design language while 
avoiding the “small, medium and large sausage” phenomenon seen in some German automotive lineups 
where cars look much the same save for size. He hinted that sharing a certain number of styling cues 
throughout the lineup could visually link vehicles while giving ample leeway for unique elements 
specific to each vehicle.

Finally, future Toyota vehicles will be designed on a sliding scale of emotion and rationality. Even 
the Camry could begin to move in the direction of heightened emotion, albeit ever so slightly.

“The Camry has a wide selection range with customers who don’t want something too aggressive,” Nagaya 
said. “But it has the responsibility of being the highlight of the lineup.”
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