Daily Management Review

Toyota to Help in Fight Against ISIS


According to the television channel ABC News, US authorities demanded from the Japanese Toyota Corporation explanations on the fact that the militants of the terrorist group ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Libya are touring on pickups and SUVs of its production. In a statement, Toyota on this occasion stated that it does not know how the group got possession on these cars.

On numerous propaganda videos of the terrorist group Islamic State, heavily armed gunmen are driving around brand new or slightly used pickups and SUVs. Mainly, these are Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks and Toyota Land Cruiser SUVs, easy to transport people and weapons. Sometimes there are Mitsubishi, Hyundai and Isuzu flashing around. US Treasury Department for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism trying to sort it out within the operations to prevent supplies of Western goods to terrorists. The office has sent a formal request to the corporation Toyota, demanding an explanation.
According to ABC News in Washington, Ed Lewis, Director of Public Policy Communications at Toyota, informed the department "on Toyota's supply chain in Middle East and on the procedures to protect these supplies." According to him, Toyota has «tough policy, banning sales of the vehicles to those who can use or modify them for use in military or terrorist purposes." According to Toyota, in 2011, there were 6 thousand Hilux and Land Cruiser models sold in Iraq; in 2013, this figure had risen to 18 thousand. In 2014, it was reduced to 13 thousand. In Syria, Toyota sales were completely discontinued in 2012 by a decision of the local dealership. In the statement, Toyota says that it is not aware about any of its dealerships selling cars to ISIS militants, but if it becomes known at some point, the company will "immediately take appropriate actions."
According to the Iraqi ambassador to the United States Lukman Faily, Iraqi Government believes that in recent years the ISIS militants have not only converted old pickups to fit their needs, but have also purchased hundreds of new Toyota cars. "We are asking our neighbors – he said in an interview with ABC News - How could these new pickups ... these all-wheel drive cars, hundreds of cars - where did they come?" The representatives of the Iraqi army believe that the cars enter the country through intermediaries acting outside Iraq. "We give all our time to fight these terrorists, so we cannot say that we have full control of the border between Iraq and Syria," – said Brigadier General Saad Maan in the interview with ABC News.  
According to Ed Lewis, many of the cars that appear in the ISIS videos are not new since "the current system of control allows ensuring that the vehicles cannot be used for illegal military purposes." However, he added "the company cannot fully control illegal channels or indirect supplies, which can be used by smugglers." In the interview with ABC News, Mr. Lewis said that the meeting with representatives of the US Treasury Department was fruitful and by that, was recognized "useful". However, he refused to give details of the report as it could "jeopardize actions to combat illegal use of vehicles or facilitate the illegal groups possibility to enter the supply chain» of Toyota and other companies.