Toyota committed to the WRC for the long term

Chairman Akio Toyoda has pledged Toyota's commitment, but does want to see more competition


Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda has outlined a long-term World Rally Championship future to DirtFish – but admitted he is calling on fellow manufacturers to join the series.

In his role as team principal at last week’s Rally Finland, Toyoda oversaw the announcement of a new development center close to Toyota Gazoo Racing’s current headquarters in Jyväskylä.

The Japanese pointed to that move as confirmation of his firm’s plans to remain in the WRC.

“You can take that [as Toyota’s] commitment to the World Rally Championship,” he told DirtFish.


“After 17 years absence from the WRC, after I came back as president, I said I wanted our return approved. This is how we came back to the championship.

“There are two reasons why we came back – the first is [to] use this experience to make ever-better cars and the second is to develop human resources, for the development of people.

“If we lose these two reasons, then we lose our raison d’etre as a company. This is why this is going to be a long-term commitment to the World Rally Championship.”

While he made that pledge, he underpinned it with the desire to see more competition.

“When you look at WRC, it’s Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport [Ford]. I want more.


“The more participants the better for the field of motorsport – that’s why I’m trying using to every opportunity I have to call out to people to join us and have good competition in motorsport.”

On the question of the next set of regulations for the WRC – expected in time for 2027 – Toyoda admitted thinking remained open.

“Right now,” he said, “we don’t know what will be the correct answer, we don’t know what’s sure to be the future. In these times we shouldn’t focus on only one option and pursue that.

“As everybody works from various angles, technical innovation will occur and we should continue to pursue and explore various types of technology – that’s the way to change the future.”

Words:David Evans