Toyota's Akio Toyoda Chosen 2021 World Car Person of the Year

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Selected 2021 World Car Awards Person of the Year was Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) president and CEO.

“Akio Toyoda is the charismatic President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. He has spent years successfully remaking his company. In 2020 despite COVID-19, under his leadership Toyota remained profitable, protecting jobs worldwide. He has maintained Toyota’s steady pace of development in the connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) era. He has also 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,” said the World Car Awards in a statement.

Toyoda said, “At Toyota, we are very fortunate that we were able to protect the employment of our team members during COVID-19 and continue our work to meet the future challenge of our industry. Creating new ways to support the well-being of our planet and people everywhere is our commitment. 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.”

Toyoda joined the company in 1984, after graduating with a law degree from Keio University. He also received a masters in business administration from Wellesley, Massachusetts’ Babson College. Toyoda served in different areas of the business in Japan and overseas, before becoming a member of the TMC board of directors in 2000. He held other senior and executive vice-presidential roles until becoming TMC president in 2009.

The World Car Person of the Year award was established in 2018 to acknowledge the contributions made by an individual in the auto industry during the previous year. The World Car Awards program hands out six awards annually, which they started doing in 2003. A group of more than 90 journalists, none of whom are a part of, made the selection.

[Images: Toyota, Babson College]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Apr 11, 2021

    Toyota has still managed to maintain most of their quality even if they are boring. All the manufacturers have been cost cutting the quality and yes so has Toyota but Toyota's quality has not declined as much as GM, Ford, Nissan, and Stelantis. Timing chains and belts enclosed with water pumps are not Quality is Job 1. I will take boring and reliable over challenging and costly.

  • Pig_Iron Pig_Iron on Apr 12, 2021

    Yeah nĕp′ə-tĭz″əm :-/

  • Lou_BC While we discuss Chinese cars, Chinese politics, and Chinese global desires, I'm looking at TTAC and Google display advertising for Chinese tires. They have nukes aimed at us but their money and products are acceptable to consumers and business?
  • TheTireWhisperer And a thankful Memorial day to all.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Take some time today to realize that virtually zero soldiers had died defending your border.
  • Tassos As somebody who is NOT a stupid fanatic about EVs one way or the other:No manufacturer has built a "Better Tesla" EV yet. Most have tried, we wait for TOyota only (last hope for the Tesla haters)UNLESS a DIRT CHEAP Model 2 comes along (will never happen in the next 2 or 3 years), Do NOT expect that 7% to go to even 10%, let alone the ... 30% clueless Idiot Joe Biden voters expect. If anything, PLUG INS and HYBRIDS may, in the SHORT term, bring the 7% down.
  • Pig_Iron 💝