Automotive News All Stars
CEO, ASIA: Akio Toyoda, President, Toyota Motor Corp.
 
Akio Toyoda, scion of Toyota Motor Corp.’s founding family, emerged this year as a dynamic strategist who is transforming the world’s largest carmaker in several ways. His company finally clicked into harvest mode in 2015 and began to see the outcomes of many overhauls Toyoda, 59, has spent years put-ting in place.

The company has launched a modular platform, led by the fourth-generation Prius hybrid, intended to underpin half its vehicles by 2020 and propel growth through the end of the decade. Toyota also brought a hydrogen fuel cell car to the U.S. as the kickoff for its future drivetrain direction.

Meanwhile, the image overhaul at Lexus shifted into high gear. And just for good measure, Toyoda delivered record net income, operating profit and all-time high revenue. Tapping that cash, Toyoda also ended a three-year self-imposed moratorium on factory construction. And in case there was any doubt about Toyoda’s confidence, the company capped the year by unveiling a bold carbon dioxide reduction plan to all but end sales of traditional gasoline engines by 2050.