Most people know car brands, but not everyone knows the CEOs and presidents of these companies. However, if there is one automotive big boss that people likely know or have heard about, it’s Toyota's chief Akio Toyoda. From the launch of new models, such as the GR Supra and the GR Yaris, Toyoda has been very hands-on with a lot of things that happen at Toyota. Recently, he was even named 2021 World Car Person of the Year.

The World Car Awards jury, a panel of more than 90 distinguished international journalists, voted Akio Toyoda as the 2021 World Car Person of the Year. According to the panel, Toyoda won the award by keeping Toyota profitable despite the global pandemic in 2020. As a result, he helped retain much-needed jobs worldwide during these trying times.

Toyota’s steady pace of development for the Connected, Autonomous, Shared and Electric (CASE) era, and the construction of the Woven City, an exciting, real-life prototype city of the future, were credited to Toyoda as well. The panel also cited the CEO actively participating in motorsport events such all at the same time. He is “master driver Morizo” after all.

Toyota chief Akio Toyoda is the 2021 World Car Person of the Year image

“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 could not be a luckier or more grateful CEO,” said Toyoda in response.

“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,” adds Toyoda.

Toyoda becomes the fourth person to win the World Car Person of the Year award. Previous World Car Person of the Year recipients was Carlos Tavares, CEO of PSA Group (2020), the late Sergio Marchionne, Chairman and CEO, Ferrari (2019), and Hakan Samuelsson, president and CEO, Volvo Car Group (2018).

With the World Car Person of the Year under Toyota’s belt, the question now is whether the Yaris will win the 2021 World Car of the Year. For that, we will have to wait until April 20, 2021.