On January 5, 2021, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) delivered a New Year video message by JAMA Chairman Akio Toyoda, to the 5.5 million individuals working in the industry. Here, Toyota Times shares the message by video and text.
Expanding the circle of shared conviction in 2022
Chairman Akio Toyoda
Happy New Year to our 5.5 million colleagues working in the automotive industry. Please allow me to start the new year again by saying, “Thank you.”
Last year, while continuing to fight COVID-19, we started to take on the challenge of carbon neutrality. It was a year in which like-minded colleagues gathered and worked together for the future. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude.
This year, I would like us to go further and to gather more like-minded people and expand our circle of shared conviction.
With these thoughts in mind, JAMA will reorganize its executive structure this year. Please watch this video.
The video Akio introduced is the JAMA press conference which was held back in November 2021, where the new executive structure was announced. In response to media questions, each Vice-Chair in the new structure shared their thoughts and resolutions.
(Video of November 2021 JAMA press conference)
Mr. Katayama and Mr. Hidaka have been observing the process with me, so I am asking them to explain how this structure has come about.
Vice Chairman Masanori Katayama
(President and Representative Director of Isuzu Motors Limited)
We’ve been discussing how to build a new mobility society and the foundation for a new automotive industry. I believe this new executive structure, one that represents heavy commercial vehicles, mini-vehicles, and motorcycles, and one that also includes Nissan and Honda is the result of discussing the issues we face and must solve together going forward.
In fact, the four heavy commercial vehicle companies have changed their mindset significantly following the previous structure change. In response to carbon neutrality and CASE, there is no difference in priority between passenger cars and trucks.
The Heavy Vehicle Committee does not hesitate to express our opinions now as part of this significant change. So, I believe the new structure was decided in a natural manner through consensus.
Vice Chairman Yoshihiro Hidaka
(President and CEO of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.)
There was a question of whether JAMA could really work together as a team with clear areas of cooperation. Is JAMA an organization of fierce rivals in the same boat without shared interests, or can it fight together as one team with clearly defined areas of cooperation?
The Chair and Vice-Chairs met in advance to discuss whether we could really work together as a team. I would like to add that the seven of us came to today’s press conference after making a firm commitment to fight as one team in these areas of cooperation.
Vice Chairman (incoming) Toshihiro Suzuki
(Representative Director and President of Suzuki Motor Corporation)
I believe that mini-vehicles play an important role in supporting both people’s daily lives and for last mile deliveries. As a JAMA executive, I would like to take steps to firmly build up areas with clear expectations for mini-vehicles and promote further development of their beneficial use as friendly mobility tools.
Vice Chairman Toshihiro Mibe
(President, CEO and Representative Director of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.)
There is a sense of urgency to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, rather than perceiving it as something negative, let’s be positive and see it as a great opportunity to tackle new areas. Moving forward, I would like to work with Chairman Toyoda and all members of JAMA to be agents of change to create a new era.
Mr. Uchida of Nissan was in the UK during COP26 for a different matter, but I would like to invite him to provide some additional insight, and share what the atmosphere around the event was like.
Vice Chairman (incoming) Makoto Uchida
(Director, representative executive officer, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.)
Thank you, Chairman Toyoda. The mood there made me really think about our social responsibility and what we can and should do in response to climate change.
In addressing this issue, we need to develop a roadmap and mid-term strategy that utilizes a wide range of technological options based on the strengths of each company, and how to collaborate beyond the automotive industry.
We urgently need to promote relevant discussions within JAMA, people outside of our industry, and the government. I would like to move forward together with everyone here.
Vice Chairman Seiichi Nagatsuka
There is a very strong sense of crisis regarding carbon neutrality among the five automotive organizations.
JAMA has started to hold study sessions in cooperation with other automotive organizations, and many small and medium-sized companies are also participating.
Many of those companies understand the necessity of carbon neutrality. However, they are uncertain about what specifically to do, what extent it should be done, and for how long to do so, when it comes to their own businesses.
We will listen carefully to the problems of our suppliers, think about how to solve them together, and proceed step by step to create synergistic effects throughout the entire supply chain.
“Together, anything is possible.”
After introducing the comments by Vice-Chairs, Akio shared his own thoughts on the automotive industry and the future. He then shared a key message for this year to the 5.5 million individuals
What the Vice-Chairs were stressing is that “the future is something we create together.”
Our predecessors have devoted their lives to creating this automotive industry. They worked hard together, dreaming of a prosperous future created by automobiles.
We are also devoting our lives to our work, today.
No matter how the times may change, I would like to connect the people and work of the automotive industry, to the future. That is what I truly want to do.
In this uncharted era, responding to change is not an easy task.
However, we have friends and colleagues. When the challenge of the COVID-19 crisis arose, we were able to play a leading role in economic recovery by working together as one.
In starting the New Year, I would like to express my gratitude and share these words with you.
“Together, anything is possible.”
If 5.5 million individuals take action, we can change the shape of the future. We will be able to leave behind a prosperous world and beautiful earth for our children. I truly believe that.
Let’s continue in our endeavors with a happy, positive spirit, while putting health and safety first. Let’s make this year a great one together.
[2021 New Year message in advertisements]
There were many times when we almost stopped.
But we didn’t.
Factories supporting the automotive industry. Buses. Taxis. Trucks. Delivery bikes. Gas stations. All of them kept operating to safeguard people’s daily lives.
The power of our 5.5 million colleagues in the automotive industry supported movement and logistics across the entire country.
Now, in 2022, we are ready to move on to the next challenge together.
If we start something new, we will find new friends beyond the boundaries of our industry.
When 5.5 million individuals take on a challenge together, there is nothing we cannot do.
“Together, anything is possible.”
#The 5.5 million individuals who make automobiles possible
In 2021, while delivering the message “We will move forward,” the automotive industry called for gathering the power of its 5.5 million colleagues.
“If we each take one step, that adds up to 5.5 million steps.” With these thoughts in mind, many took steps in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and the challenge of carbon neutrality. It has led to the growing number of like-minded partners taking on challenges together.
“Nothing will stop us in 2022. Together, we will overcome difficulties, and create the future.” With this shared resolution, the New Year has begun for the 5.5 million individuals in the automotive industry.