Toyota “50 for 50” Supports Students at Alabama HBCUs

Fifty years ago this month, the historic freedom march from Selma to Montgomery took place in order to take a stand for the civil rights of African Americans. In honor of that event, Toyota introduced “50 for 50,” donating $50,000 to four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Alabama.

Each of the colleges—Alabama State University, Alabama A&M University, Selma University, and Tuskegee University—played an important role in fighting for civil rights. It was students from these schools who participated in the 54-mile march.

A check donation ceremony was held during a luncheon on Alabama State University’s campus where representatives from each college attended.

“Toyota has a long-standing commitment to the pursuit of education and partnering with historically black colleges and universities,” said Adrienne Trimble, Toyota North America’s general manager of Diversity & Inclusion. “On this historic occasion, we wanted to recognize the four Alabama schools that played an integral part in the march five decades ago. Through this donation, we strive to support each school’s commitment to developing the next generation of leaders and working to make the world a better place.”

We at Bill Walsh Toyota are excited to see the results of Toyota’s support of these universities as the students continue to make a difference in today’s world as did the students who came before them 50 years ago.

First Toyota Female Executive Marks a Shift Towards Diversity

Toyota recently shifted gears as a company in an effort to restructure and vary its leadership positions. The management team will become more diversified this year with the promotion of Julie Hamp to be the first Toyota female executive, Christopher Reynolds as the first African-American exec, and European Didier Leroy to the be the first foreigner to serve as EVP. Toyota as a company seeks to gain strength from the internal moves.

Toyota states, “by appointing talented people from affiliates outside Japan to executive positions, Toyota aims to foster innovation by enabling people from many different backgrounds to contribute and provide input.”

Toyota has crossed the Rubicon and is no longer just a Japanese carmaker, but a global car manufacturer with far-ranging leadership needs and requirements. Steering away from all-Japanese male decision-makers towards a more diversified leadership cadre will allow Toyota to find that “next-gear” and race into the future with refreshed vigor.

We at Bill Walsh Toyota are proud to be a part of such a great organization, and look forward to an even brighter future.

Toyota Mirai: Previewing the Latest in Toyota Fuel-Cell Technology


Toyota is opening its doors to the public, showcasing the production of the new Mirai in a series of videos. People now have an opportunity to see how Toyota’s first production fuel-cell vehicle is manufactured, an incredibly complex and interesting process.

The videos show a surprisingly small staff in Toyota City, Japan putting together the new Mirai, essentially by hand. This is to ensure that there are no flaws on the hydrogen powered sedan, said Toyota. Although it means that only about three cars per day are made, this is enough to keep up with the limited release.

“For us, [the Mirai] marks a new start,” said Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda. “This is not to reflect on the past, but rather to celebrate Toyota’s new start, where we take a fresh step towards the future.”

The Mirai represents the culmination of Toyota fuel-cell technology. Right now, only select parts of the world have the infrastructure for hydrogen cars (a.k.a. hydrogen filling stations) such as certain regions of California. As soon as more places embrace this new eco-friendly technology, Toyota can hit the ground running with the revolutionary Mirai.

Toyota Camry, Highlander, and Sienna Named Best Family Cars of 2015

best family cars of 2015

Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com recruited families and brought its usual host of expert editors to determine this year’s list of the 15 Best Family Cars of 2015. Among the chosen winners were the Camry midsize sedan, the Highlander midsize crossover, and the Sienna minivan.

Selecting the winners is no small task. KBB.com gathered “23 of the latest and greatest different vehicles from a variety of manufacturers” and put them all to real-world tests. Evaluations were based on comfort, driving feel, safety, child seats, cargo space, rear-seat entertainment, and other extra features like advanced electronics and ease-of-access.

The new Camry was a clear contender from the beginning thanks to its total redesign for the 2015 model year. It’s the most attractive Camry to date (at least we think so at Bill Walsh Toyota) and quite roomy and comfortable to boot, which should help it remain the best-selling car in the US, as it has been for the past 12 years.

The Highlander and Sienna were just as convincing. The former is just the right size and full of storage places, and the latter’s entertainment and Drive Easy Speak system make it really easy to keep the kids under control.