While most of the world’s major economies splutter along, China’s blistering economic growth has businesses everywhere salivating for a piece of China’s increasingly wealthy middle class.
Everyone peddling something from adventures down the Nile River to skin-whitening face cream are redefining their strategies to get a piece of the Chinese pie. Even Porsche chose Shanghai for their world debut of the 4-door family wagon Porsche Panamera – its biggest launch in years.
But it seems ads with backdrops of Chinese skylines are for beginners, when you see the lengths the world’s biggest auto manufacturer is going to get their cars on Chinese roads…
Toyota’s punt on the future, the self-driving Toyota Fun Vii launched this week at the Tokyo Motor Show. Those curves and all that technology squeezed into less than four metres of car could bring out the gadget-lover in anyone. But upon closer inspection, I’m not sure that I’m the target market.
Although the holographic Tinkerbellesque assistant and two of the passengers appear distinctly Anglo-Saxon, you just need to look a little closer to realise who they’re targeting with their three-seats. The average US family has 2.06 kids and UK family 1.92. Even the unfertile Canadians with 1.58 kids will be riding on laps.
If you had any doubts who Toyota want to buy the cars, one glance at the massive glitzy LCD-screen exterior and it’s pretty clear that this car of the future isn’t destined for Walmart parking lots in Arkansas.
According to Toyota, the future is China.
Let’s hope they make a family wagon.