Toyota rolls out car for kids at Tokyo toy show CBS News

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Toyota rolls out car for kids at toy show

TOKYO It sounds to say the least, but one of the latest offerings Toyota is aimed at getting behind the steering wheel.

as the world’s first car designed for drivers — with two seats in back for their — the Camatte concept car was this week at the 2013 Tokyo Toy Show.

It’s no different than a regular said Kenji Tsuji, a manager for Toyota. The power-train is an motor. The accelerator, brake, meters and seats are identical to in conventional vehicles.

The main difference is that shorter, and sized to a kid’s


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Toyoto makes for kids in Tokyo

Japanese toy features vehicles made for to drive

About two-thirds the of a conventional small car, the controls are geared to children as as 120 centimeters, or around four While the speedometer reads a top of about 44 mph, the car has an actual speed of closer to 28 mph.

If that cruising speed grownups into white-knuckle the manufacturer has thoughtfully installed an feature that allows to knock that top speed to a crawl; as low as three mph.

We exhibited at the toy show because we parents and kids to interact the car, he said, with mom and dad in the the kid in the front. We wanted them to it as a family.

The lineup includes a coupe convertible, and a cute with cartoony, eye-like Molded steel and fiber-reinforced have been replaced 57 body panels, attached pins, that the maker even very young and the technically challenged can remove an hour. The panels can be swapped out for a of colors, from candy-pink to GI Joe-camouflage.

It’s a dress-up doll on

Someone demonstrates the ability to out the 57 body panels of Toyota’s Camatte 57 car for others of various

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CBS/Lucy Craft

Tsuji the vehicles are a dream come for any kid who’s owned a matchbox car and about being able to off in it.

While kiddie cars may be for the Harry Potter set, the is clearly aimed at forestalling the auto industry’s worst — a generation of young with a waning appetite for car

After peaking at 7.7 million back in 1990, domestic new car in Japan have been on a inexorable slide. Last thanks to an eco-car subsidy and a in demand after the 2011 and subsequent nuclear disasters, surpassed the 5 million mark for the time in years.

But the Japan Manufacturers Association expects even under the aggressive expansion led by Prime Minister sales will tank in 2013, falling below the million mark, as Japan’s shrinks and ages, and amidst a of non-car distractions for Japanese

Tsuji remains hopeful. By the idea that cars are fun and we can win customers back.

If the notion of driving before they’re old to get a license doesn’t sound don’t get out your checkbook yet — the kiddie cars no price tag, and are destined for tracks, theme parks, and own promotional facilities in Japan. are no plans yet to export the vehicles to the or other markets abroad, Tsuji says strong in Japan may one day mean pint-sized burning rubber somewhere in

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Reserved.

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