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Shifting from Cars Creating Society to Thinking Up Cars for Society

Before the 2020 milestone, it is time to rethink the ideal car. In retrospect, the 20th century was the era of motorization. Many countries aimed to make cars popular with the general public. Some nations achieved economic development, increased the disposable income of workers and succeeded in forming a large middle class. Cars spread to the masses bringing about the creation of the car society. Many people have expanded their personal mobility and have come to take pleasure in that joy. Cars have brought about happiness and should have been a blessing. But times have changed. Cars have become, if anything, something negative. Yachting across the Atlantic Ocean to the UN Climate Action Summit, although the word “car” did not directly appear in the speech of the girl who kept repeating “How dare you!,” there is no doubt that she was critical of the car society. At the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA 2019) that was held before the summit, many environmental protection groups and environmental protection extremists were more intense than usual and protested against cars. The number of participants in the march around the Messe venue was 25,000 according to the announcement of the organizer (ATTAC), while the local police estimated that figure to be around 15,000. About 1,000 of them sat down in front of the exhibition hall. There were many young people regardless of gender. The protest group ATTAC has demanded that “By 2035, realize the sort of transportation that does not harm the environment.” Banners were filled with harsh words criticizing cars such as “Cars kill the environment,” “If you get in the car, everyone else will suffer enormous harm,” “Today’s drive, tomorrow’s death,” “Correct the arrogance of the automobile industry,” “Free public transportation, mobility for everyone.” Also, a note was affixed on an SUV parking nearby saying “It is disappointing that you drive an SUV.” Such protests have also been in the past. Four years ago at IAA 2015, VW, which was embroiled in a diesel scandal, and diesel vehicles were targeted. However, criticism is now directed not only at VW and diesel cars, but also toward the engine itself, the car itself, and the automobile industry itself. Just selling it to someone who wants to have a good car made is no longer acceptable to society. Those are the times now. Toyota states in its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy that it “does business with an emphasis on all stakeholders for sustainable development.” Toyota’s “stakeholders” include not only customers but also employees, business partners, shareholders, and local and global communities.
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