Toyota President Trash Talk: Tesla ‘Has Not Created a Real Business’

Tesla has “not created a real business in the real world yet,” said Akio Toyoda, President of the Toyota Motor Corporation, according to a report by CNBC.

Fielding questions after Friday’s earnings call, Toyota executives outlined their plans for the burgeoning electric vehicle industry, and also took a couple digs at current industry leader Tesla in the process.

According to Akio Toyoda, Tesla’s $400 billion valuation (which surpasses that of the auto industry’s ‘Japanese 7′ put together) and market cap may be sky-high, but they are undeserved.

“They are trying to trade recipes. The chef is saying ‘Our recipe is going to become the standard of the world in the future!’.” Toyota’s President believes that while Tesla is trying to sell unfinished recipes, Toyota is a purveyor of well-established, legacy dishes.

Take that with a grain of salt, however, seeing that a teardown of the Tesla Model 3 has revealed that Tesla electronics are roughly 6 years ahead of what Toyota has to offer.

On the flip side, he also admitted that Toyota could learn a thing or two from Tesla when it comes to investor relations and a diversified business portfolio — Tesla’s revenue comes from electric vehicles, regulatory credits, software, and renewable energy products.

After marketing hybrid electric vehicles with its Prius line in 1997, Toyota made a few battery-powered RA-4’s (including one in collaboration with Tesla). However, Toyota didn’t give manufacturing purely electric vehicles much attention until late last year, when the Japanese automaker established a joint venture with China’s BYD Co., Tesla’s biggest global competitor.

With 100 million Toyota vehicles on the road already, Toyota hopes to sell about 7.5 million more during FY2021, ending in March. It also expects an opening profit of 1.3 trillion yen ($12.6 billion USD) for the fiscal year.

In contrast, with record deliveries in Q3, Tesla hopes to sell a total of 500,000 electric vehicles in 2020, a first for the company.