Toyota boss Akio Toyoda has pushed models like the Yaris and GR Yaris that are focused on profitability during the pandemic and yet accelerate plans for developing electric vehicles. Tata Motors’ Pratap Bose was also a finalist for the award this year – the very first Indian to be selected.
Akio Toyoda – Toyota Motor Corporation President named 2021 Global Automotive Personality of the Year
Ninety-three World Car jurors from 28 countries unanimously elected Akio Toyoda, Chairman and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, as the recipient of the 2021 Global Automotive Personality of the Year. Mr. Toyoda was in vying for honor with four other finalists, including Luc Donckerwolke – Chief Creative Officer, Hyundai Motor Group, Euisin Chung – Chairman, Hyundai Motor Group, Tomiko Takeuchi – Mazda’s very first female chief engineer and MX -30 program manager , and Pratap Bose – Vice President of Tata Motors, Global Design, who is the very first Indian to be nominated for this very prestigious award.
Read also: Indian designer Pratap Bose named finalist for 2021 Global Automotive Personality of the Year
Akio Toyoda has made many accomplishments over the past year, including bringing two fantastic models like the Yaris and GR Yaris to market, while remaining profitable despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It helped the automaker protect jobs around the world at a time when the auto industry collectively faced downtime.
He was also instrumental in maintaining a constant pace of development for the CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) era. Last year, the Toyota chief also revealed the company’s plans to build a prototype city of the future in Japan, called the “ Woven City. ” The new city will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Mr. Toyoda managed to achieve all this while actively participating in different motorsport activities as a driver throughout the year.
The other contenders for the coveted title have done an incredible job over the past year. The only female nominee here, Tomiko Takeuchi broke the glass ceiling as Mazda’s very first female MX-30 chief engineer and program director. She is also the first female development pilot and benchmark test pilot, and currently leads a team of 1,000 around the world.
Luc Donckerwolke, Creative Director of Hyundai Motor Group, was instrumental in creating and executing the successful design strategy for the Hyundai, Kia and Genesis brands. Under his leadership, the Kia showcased its EV6 concept, while Genesis rolled out the G80 and GV80 models, and more recently the Genesis X concept.
Read also: World Car Awards announce top three finalists for each category
Coming to Indian car designer Pratap Bose, VP – Global Design of Tata Motors, has been tasked with transforming the brand’s design strategy in recent times. Last year, the designer launched models like the Altroz and Safari that are gaining a lot in design, as well as concepts like the Sierra and HBX.
And finally, Euisun Chung is the Chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group and has spearheaded the rise of the Hyundai-Kia brands among the world’s top five car manufacturers. This despite the pandemic which seriously affects the automotive sector and continues to do so today. Hyundai’s luxury arm also introduced its very first SUV, the GV80, in the past year. Mr Chung has also been tasked with accelerating the Korean automaker’s electric mobility plans and putting the automaker on par with other major OEMs in the race for electrification, fuel cells and hybridization.
The World Car Person of the Year award is one of six awards given out each year by the World Car Awards. Categories include: World Luxury Car, World Urban Car, World Performance Car, World Car Design and World Car of the Year. Previous recipients of this honor include Hakan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group (2018), the late Sergio Marchionne, CEO, FCA; President, CNH Industrial; and Chairman and CEO, Ferrari (2019), and Carlos Tavares, CEO – Groupe PSA (2020).
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