King Philippe visits Toyota Motor Europe’s R&D Centre in Belgium


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King Philippe of Belgium visited Toyota Motor Europe’s (TME) Technical Centre, its research and development facilities in Zaventem, Brussels to see the leading-edge work being undertaken by the company’s engineers and scientists. As part of the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce (BJA) 60th anniversary celebrations, both TME and BJA participated in the visit to Toyota’s centre of excellence, which was designed to highlight the importance of Japanese investments in Belgium.

King Philippe was welcomed on his arrival at TME Technical Centre by His Excellency, Masahiro Mikami, Japanese Ambassador to Belgium and Yoshihiro Nakata, President & CEO of TME. The King’s visit started with an explanation of Toyota’s global multi-path strategy offering a wide range of zero and low emission technologies to help decarbonise mobility. The tour of the facility included visiting TME’s Hydrogen Factory where hydrogen fuel cell modules are assembled and integrated into a diverse range of zero emission mobility applications ranging from cars to trucks and maritime products.

The King was chauffeured across the premises to the Design Centre in Toyota’s APM (Accessible People Mover), a wheelchair accessible battery electric vehicle designed at TME to transport athletes and others at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris this summer.  At TME’s Design Centre, the King was shown how best-selling vehicles such as the new Toyota C-HR are designed and developed in Belgium for the European market and was invited to test his skills in the driving simulator.

King Philippe finished his tour of the Technical Centre by meeting a senior group of BJA and TME members to celebrate the close collaboration of Belgium and Japan with a traditional Japanese kanpai!.

*Toyota in Belgium employs around 6,000 people at its Head Office, Technical Centre, European Parts Centre and its National Marketing & Sales Company (Inchcape) and has cumulatively invested approximately €2.2 billion. Beyond its commercial activities, the company is active in wider society working with Serve the City and tree planting in Zaventem.