Craig Payne

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AT TOYOTA, CULTIVATING A D+I MINDSET ISN’T JUST THE RIGHT THING TO DO— it also helps deepen our ability to empathize with our customers, so that we can ultimately deliver the innovative mobility solutions they need.

Craig Payne knows just how important it is to step into the customer’s shoes. As the chief engineer in charge of development for the Toyota Sienna, much of his work involves understanding what customers need and designing vehicles to meet those requirements.

According to vehicle registration data, Toyota is the top auto brand among multi-cultural consumers.

“Today, an automobile has to be seamlessly connected to both our customers and the various technologies they rely on every day,” Craig says. “This creates new expectations and challenges, which also creates new opportunities to improve our customers’ overall experience.”

When designing the Sienna, Craig’s team considered the mobility needs of not just adults, but also children and multigenerational families. “We include small touches like the assist grip, because we know that two- or three-year-old children want to feel a sense of independence as they start to move around. For some of our older population, it can be
harder for them to get in and out of the vehicle, so by providing a lower step-in height, we can help with that. It’s those little touches that customers may not notice but are deliberately placed there to make it easier for them.”