Sunday 25 March 2018

Welcome to Motown but without the soul

The Japanese city named after the Toyota car giant is a joyless place where workers live their lives in service of the company, writes Leo Lewis

THE last time I was in Detroit, my lunch date was stabbed in the neck and the man I was supposed to interview resigned in a stripper-corruption-gunfight scandal. The tyres of my rented Ford were slashed in the car park. Compared with Toyota City, however, it was almost Heaven.

Toyota cars may have the odd defect, but Toyota City is flawless. The perfect corporate gulag, it is what happens when you cross the charm of an Ikea car park with the artistic flair of a Corolla.

Everything you see lives in the drudge service of Toyota. The town changed its name from Koromo in the 1950s, but everyone seems uneasy when explaining why. The people are haunted by slogans that imply thankless sacrifice.

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