Spare a new-year thought for car brands, as each one hurtles towards its carbon-neutrality target date (for most it’s between 2038 and 2050) with increasing alacrity. Take Toyota, which seems to embody the global challenge thrown up by these targets in 2024. The Japanese car giant ended 2023 being knocked off the top spot for global car sales by Chinese brand BYD, and it goes into this year scratching its head as it takes a look at the countries it sells cars in. According to Toyota, although 87 per cent of European consumers believe in the urgent need to address climate change, globally the situation is very different. The result for a worldwide brand like Toyota is that, in their words, being in “more than 50 markets means more than 50 approaches”. Ouch. How do you create a homogeneous international model range and supply chain with built-in efficiencies around that mind-boggling array of geopolitical behaviours?