Akio's New Year Message for Toyota's Global Team


"I still have a lot of work to do," Chairman Akio Toyoda told Toyota team members around the world, sharing a recent dream that has strengthened his resolve.

As in the past, Chairman Akio Toyoda delivered a New Year’s video message to Toyota employees worldwide.

For the company, 2023 marked a rebound from the period when production and sales plans were upended by factors including COVID-19 and chip shortages. Akio expressed his appreciation for everyone’s hard work in getting through an unusually demanding year.

Ringing in his first New Year as chairman, Akio remarked, “I still have a lot of work to do,” and shared a recent dream that has strengthened his resolve.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and are eager to get back to work. I know I am!

But first, I want to thank each of you for the fantastic job you did last year. 2023 set new records for Toyota, and we now find ourselves at the top of the mountain, as they say.

Recently, I’ve even started counting the number of Toyota and Lexus cars sharing the road with me when I’m driving. And I have to admit, it’s pretty amazing!

But I’m reminded of the Chinese proverb, “the taller you grow, the deeper you bow,” and I think we should all take this to heart.

Because even though profit and volume are the results of our hard work, they shouldn’t be our primary goal.

Now, I realize you might not expect the Chairman of Toyota to say such a thing, but I still believe that our mission is to continue to make ever better products and make our customers happy one person at a time. That’s it.

Results are important, of course, but mostly it’s because they give us the ability to achieve our goals and dreams.

Speaking of dreams, I recently had one about our founder, my grandfather, Kiichiro.

As you may know, my grandfather died before I was born, so it’s a little strange to dream about someone you’ve never met, but he had a message for me.

Of course, I hoped he was going to tell me that I had done a good job and that he was proud of me, but unfortunately, he decided to skip that part.

Instead, he told me that even though he’d seen some improvements at Toyota, I hadn’t yet succeeded in transforming us into a mobility company the way he had transformed Toyota from a loom company into an automobile company.

So clearly, I still have a lot of work to do and I hope you’ll join me on this journey because I’m counting on your talent, imagination, and passion to help me fulfill this dream.

So, this year, in the words of the immortal Captain Kirk, let’s boldly go where no one has gone before!

Let’s challenge ourselves to expand our capabilities and widen our horizons in every region and every country.

Let’s support each other, let’s support our industry by staying true to our point of view, even if it’s not always agreed with, at least at first.

Together, let’s support my friend and fellow car lover, President Koji Sato, as he continues his own quest to make us smile with new products and new experiences for our customers that we can all be proud of.

And most of all, let’s be sure to do it the Toyota way. Here’s to an awesome 2024! Thank you very much!