Just the other day, Kiichiro Toyoda was selected to become a new member of the Automotive Hall of Fame.
To have the founder of Toyota be selected by the members of the legendary Hall of Fame was something that brought joy to me.
Kiichiro Toyoda was awarded the entry into the Automotive Hall of Fame because he founded Toyota Motor Corporation and had influence on the development of the global automobile industry. Please allow me to share some of my, Morizo’s, thoughts as his grandson here. I would like to call him “Kiichiro,” as someone I feel close to.
Kiichiro was greatly influenced by the sight of many cars driving around the cities in the U.S. upon one of his visits there. This eventually led to the fulfilment of a desire to “create domestic cars and establish an automobile industry in Japan.”
There is no doubt that the U.S. was a truly special country to him.
Kiichiro and his colleagues started making cars at a time when they had no money or goods, all while experiencing political instability and labor disputes. They didn’t see the positive results of their efforts in making automobiles in their lifetimes; we are here today because they were determined to work hard for their future no matter how it looked in their time.
When I, Morizo, turned 57, the age Kiichiro was when he passed away, I prayed in front of his tomb and said, “From now on, it will be a world that you haven’t seen. Please use me to fulfill your dreams.”
So, at this time, we acknowledge our founder, Kiichiro. In particular, the commendation received at this time from the U.S. that Kiichiro had long been pursuing was something that I, as a successor to Toyota, and above all, as Kiichiro’s grandson, am very thankful for.
Being able to enter the Hall of Fame, at this very moment, during this once-in-a-century period of transformation, feels like Kiichiro is here, cheering for me.
"In the same way Toyota transformed into a car company from an automatic loom company, I want everyone to fight for the future, instead of being too consumed with previous successes. Even without the prospect of immediate success, working to be ever better is what working at Toyota is all about.”
Congratulations, Grandpa! Thank you for helping me realize what is truly important.
*This content was originally posted on Toyota’s intranet on July 10, 2018.