World Car Person of the Year
Akio Toyoda is World Car Person of the Year
Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), has been unanimously voted 2021 World Car Person of the Year by 93 World Car jurors from 28 countries.
Mr Toyoda has held the position of president since 2009, before which he was executive vice president, which he held from 2005. His career at TMC started in 1984.
The World Car Person of the Year award celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the global automotive industry during each calendar year. Such contributions could include a significant impact to their brand or company or a significant safety, engineering, design or technical advancement. Other deserving finalists for the 2021 award were Luc Donckerwolke (Chief Creative Officer, Hyundai Motor Group), Euisin Chung (Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group), Tomiko Takeuchi (Mazda's first-ever female chief engineer and programme manager of the MX-30) and Pratap Bose (Tata Motors' Vice President, Global Design, who is the first-ever Indian to be nominated in the competition).
In announcing the award, the World Car Awards jury released a statement that stated: “In 2020, under his leadership, Toyota remained profitable, despite Covid-19, thus protecting jobs worldwide. He has maintained Toyota’s steady pace of development for the Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) era and has initiated construction of the Woven City, an exciting, real-life prototype city of the future. All while actively participating in motorsports himself, as a driver.”
On receiving the award, Toyoda said: “On behalf of all 360 000 Toyota Team members around the world, thank you for this tremendous honour. 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 have truly made Toyota what it is today.
“And I for one, couldn’t be a luckier… or a more grateful CEO. I would also like to thank and recognise the contributions of the entire automotive industry. 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.”
Toyoda added that: “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. This has been a difficult period in the history of the world, but it has also reminded us that people are what matter the 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. Thank you again for this award…”
The World Car awards were officially launched in January 2004, to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognise, reward and inspire excellence, leadership and innovation in a rapidly changing automotive industry.