[In the words of Akio] #12: "The future is ours to create together"


90 years ago, Kiichiro Toyoda ventured into the automotive business along with many passionate colleagues. All these decades later, one of their paramount principle lives on at Toyota, as demonstrated by his grandson, Akio Toyoda.

The Fuji 24 Hours Race marked a one-year milestone for the hydrogen-powered Corolla. The car completed 478 laps, 120 more than last year. This result was achieved thanks to the hard work of everyone involved coming together every day to make improvements and pave the way for the future.

A few days before the race, Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motor Corporation, was awarded the title of Honorary Citizen by Aichi Prefecture. Akio Toyoda, who was present at the award ceremony, shared the following.

“With a passion for automobiles, Kiichiro wanted to wholeheartedly develop the automotive industry in Japan using the intellect and skills of the Japanese people. In this endeavor, he had many colleagues who took on all the challenges of that path along with him. That journey was made easier by the excellent education here in Aichi Prefecture, and the government and communities in Aichi making great efforts to develop the area’s industrial base. The founding members could not have pursued the automotive business without any one of those foundations. That’s why Kiichiro said back then, ‘My colleagues and our partners are the ones who did all the work on the automobiles.’ Concerning this Honorary Citizen award, I believe he would also say, ‘The challenge of developing the automobile industry was one we all undertook together.’”

Automobiles involve various industries, not only in the manufacturing process, but also in the running of the vehicle, including infrastructure, energy, communications, and logistics. With this in mind, Akio, as Chair of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA), says that the automotive industry has an important role in achieving carbon neutrality.

“For carbon neutrality, we must achieve reductions in CO2 across all processes of producing, transporting, using, and disposing. In other words, it is necessary for all people and all industries to work together. I believe we need a pacesetter there, and we can play that role for the whole industry since automobiles are a comprehensive industry deeply entwined with many others, such as energy and materials. Also, automobiles are a business-to-consumer industry with many consumer touchpoints. I believe we can also serve as a pacesetter in transitioning customers’ lifestyles to carbon neutrality.”

In May of this year, Akio shared his thoughts on the industry’s priority themes at a press conference announcing JAMA’s new structure. In closing his remarks, he shared his unwavering beliefs.

“I firmly believe that the auto industry stands united as one, and the future is ours to create together.”

Times have changed significantly since Toyota’s foundation and Kiichiro’s passing, but one principle stays unbroken at Toyota: the way to the future is paved when impassioned colleagues work hand in hand.