At Akio’s New Year’s address to Toyota employees in Japan, he unexpectedly returned to center stage after finishing his speech.
He shared his expectations for the participants after explaining his thoughts on the New Year commercial from Japan’s five leading automobile organizations that had just aired at the end of his address.
Following that, speaking as Akio Toyoda, not as the chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association nor as the president of Toyota, he expressed his aspirations for 2022.
Toyota Times presents to its readers the fourth request Akio made there to Toyota employees.
What I personally want to do this year is to make time to enjoy cars, not as Master Driver, the president of Toyota, the chairman of JAMA, or even Morizo. I want to enjoy the time as a person who loves driving and cars.
The fact that I’m saying this means that I wasn’t able to do that last year. When I drove, I was soon asked to comment on the vehicle as Master Driver. As the chairman of JAMA, I took hits every time I said something.
That’s why I couldn’t be the me who genuinely loves cars and driving.
I want to avoid that this year. I hope to have much time for enjoying cars this year, so, folks, please try not to bother me when I’m behind the wheel. And don’t come messing with me with anything to do with work. [Laughs.]
“Ah, it’s finally time for me to be a car guy and have some fun. I think I’ll take a break.” I very much look forward to your teamwork when I’m in that state as well.
In concluding, inspired by the scene from a drama about the early days of Toyota that had left the greatest impression on him in, Akio invited everyone to join him in shouting “Let’s do it!”
In the drama, a worksite member stood up and spoke those words when an actor playing a businessman modeled after Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda proposed that the company enter the automobile business. The others there immediately and enthusiastically followed suit.
The quote comes from a scene in which colleagues stood up together and encouraged each other to take on an unpredictable future.
Finally, so many of you have gathered here today, including those who raised their hands because they wanted to hear what I had to say. Additionally, we have been joined by 15,000 members watching online.
So, with those of you who are participating online, as well as with those of you here in the immediate audience, I would like to close with a collaborative effort.
When I cue you with “Let’s do it!”, I want all of you to ring out together with: “Let’s do it! We will move forward.”
Everyone, please stand up. “Let’s do it! We will move forward.”
Thank you very much.