Steve Tormey has long had a deep affection for Japan, dating back to when he lived there as a young child. That fondness for the country is evident in the way he has steered Toyota Ireland, a 100 percent Irish-owned distributor of the Japanese car brand, to great success, earning the moniker of Ireland’s most-loved car brand.

Early this year, Toyota Ireland – the auto giant’s Irish-owned exclusive distributor in Ireland – and Toyota Financial Services launched a joint venture, Toyota Financial Services Ireland (TFSI), the first such partnership with a local distributor that hopes to facilitate car ownership in the country.

“We see this as a vote of confidence of Japan in Ireland. Our decades-long relationship with Toyota, like Ireland and Japan, continues to flourish because of the shared commitment to work together and our ambition to build a better world for our children’s children,” CEO Steve Tormey said.

“In Ireland, you can try something and you’ll know very quickly whether it will work or not. They’re all very supportive of what we’re trying to do. Ireland is demographically well represented and it’s the perfect location to trial new ventures. You will quickly find out if it’s worth taking to the rest of Europe,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tormey has remained steadfast in highlighting Toyota’s commitment to innovation and making life better for Irish families.

“We build cars with lower emissions to improve air quality for everyone and help create a better world for our children’s children. While it was tough going for several years, our self-charging hybrid cars now account for over 50 percent of our mix. People are more aware that we need to do something to help build a better future, and that hybrid cars are the future,” Tormey said.

With the growing popularity of its hybrid cars and the car-sharing Yuko program in Dublin, Toyota Ireland is eager to embrace more innovation coming from the Japanese headquarters.

“We’re totally committed to the future. We look forward to reaching our first 50 years in Ireland, and the next 50 years after that,” he said.