Toyota chief Akio Toyoda is World Car Person of the Year
MANILA: Toyota Motor Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda was recognized as the World Car Person of the Year in the recently concluded 2021 World Car Awards.
Toyoda earned the vote of 93 members of the jury panel which is composed of renowned international journalists. Under his leadership, Toyota remained to be a successful car brand, despite the COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020. Although a global crisis struck the automotive industry last year, Toyota was able to protect the jobs of its employees worldwide.
Toyoda has also maintained the company’s pace of stable development for the "Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric" (CASE) era. He was also behind the establishment of the Woven City which is a real-life prototype city of the future. Toyoda was able to organize all these initiatives to transform the brand while himself actively participating in motorsports competitions as a driver.
In a statement, Toyoda said, “On behalf of all 360,000 Toyota Team members around the world, thank you for this tremendous honor! If you don’t mind, however, I would like to change this award from car “person” of the year, to car “people” of the year… because it’s the collective effort of all our global employees, retailers and suppliers that has truly made Toyota what it is today! And I for one, couldn’t be a luckier… or a more grateful CEO.”
“At Toyota we are very fortunate that we were able to protect the employment of our team members during COVID and to continue our work to meet the future challenges of our industry. As a company, we are dedicated to providing mobility for all… but we are equally committed to creating new ways to support the well-being of our planet and people everywhere,” Toyoda added. “This has been a difficult period in the history of the world, but it has also reminded us that people are what matters most… and if we at Toyota can contribute some measure of happiness to their lives, it will be my never-ending goal to do just that.”
The World Car Person of the Year Award was created in 2018 to recognize an individual who has played a significant role in the global automotive industry in the previous year. Toyoda was chosen among five finalists which also included Tata Motors Global Design Vice President Pratap Bose, Hyundai Motor Group Chariman Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Group Chief Creative Officer Luc Donckerwolke, and Mazda Motor Corporation MX-30 Program Manager Tomiko Takeuchi.
Previous World Car Person of the Year awardees include PSA Group Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares (2020); FCA CEO, CNH Industrial Chairman, and Ferrari Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne (2019); and Volvo Car Group President and Chief Executive Officer Hakan Samuelsson (2018).
The World Car Awards is an annual event that acknowledges the excellence, leadership, and innovation in the fast-paced automotive industry. The award-giving body was established in 2003, and officially launched in January 2004.
Photos from Toyota