Report – Toyota’s newfound focus on design send the next generation Prius back to the drawing board image

The Japanese automaker, the largest auto company in the world, has always been known for reliable, honest cars that lack any glitz and glamour when it comes to exterior and interior “sex-appeal”.

But all that has started to change in recent years, with the top brass asking for a more passionate approach – akin to what some European brands have on offer – though the attributes of the company need to remain the same. So, according to a person familiar with the matter that discussed with Automotive News, the next-generation Prius hybrid was sent back to the development team following a final approval session at the highest level. The design was the one that didn’t make the cut. Following last year’s mishap, the team under Prius Chief Engineer Koji Toyoshima made numerous tweaks and it finally got the top brass approval in April. But by then, the program was already delayed, even as Mitsuhisa Kato, the executive vice president who vetoed the initial design, said that a decision to postpone the launch was triggered by many other issues.

Toyota’s most iconic nameplate is clearly a critical model for the company, and numerous executives hinted on different occasions that a less-than-great design could not be approved. While rare, the order to modify a nearly completed fourth-generation of the model was in light with Toyota President Akio Toyoda, prioritization of design.

Via Automotive News