It should come as no surprise that 93 international journalists on the World Car Awards jury panel voted Akio Toyoda, President & CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation as the 2021 World Car Person of the Year. A real ‘car guy’ who has invigorated Toyota’s image with more appealing products, especially to younger customers, Mr. Toyoda was among 5 finalists for this prestigious award that was created in 2018 to acknowledge and celebrate an individual who has made a significant contribution to the global automotive industry. That contribution could include a significant impact to their brand or company or a significant safety, engineering, design or technical advancement.
A direct descendant of the founders of the company, Mr. Toyoda, 64, has spent years successfully remaking the company. In 2020, under his leadership, Toyota remained profitable, despite COVID-19, thus protecting jobs worldwide. He has maintained Toyota’s pace of steady development for the Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric era, and he has initiated construction of the Woven City, a real-life prototype city of the future. And in between his corporate work, he has also found time to participate in motorsports as a driver.
Akio Toyoda is a direct descendant of the founders of Toyota Motor Corporation.
One of the very few car company Presidents who races and also personally gets involved in testing and development of new models. Autocar UK, which picked him as ‘Man of the Year in 2012’, also described him as ‘today’s equivalent of Enzo Ferrari’. ‘People’, not ‘person’
“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 has truly made Toyota what it is today! And I for one, couldn’t be a luckier… or a more grateful CEO,” said Mr. Toyoda.
“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,” he added. “I would also like to thank and recognize the contributions of the entire automotive industry.”
The other finalists
The other 5 finalists were (in alphabetical order) Pratap Bose, Vice-President, Global Design at Tata Motors; Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group; Luc Donckerwolke, Chief Creative Officer of Hyundai Motor Group; and Tomiko Takeuchi, Program Manager for the Mazda MX-30.
Previous World Car Person of the Year recipients were Carlos Tavares, CEO of PSA Group (2020); the late Sergio Marchionne, CEO, FCA; Chairman, CNH Industrial; and Chairman and CEO, Ferrari (2019); and Hakan Samuelsson, President & CEO of Volvo Car Group (2018).
Carlos Tavares, last year’s World Car Person of the Year recipient, is also a racing driver. The World Car Person of the Year award is just one of 6 awards handed out annually by the World Car Awards organization. The awards were inaugurated in 2003 and officially launched in January 2004. They are intended to reflect the reality of the global marketplace, as well as to recognize, reward and inspire excellence, leadership and innovation in a rapidly changing automotive industry.
Toyota returned to the top of the global sales chart in 2020
The National Vaccination Program in Malaysia is free of charge.
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