Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has been appointed to the FIA senate, making him the first automotive CEO appointed to that body. The FIA is the governing body for world motorsport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring organizations.
Toyoda is one of four new “independent members” proposed by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, according to an FIA press release. The others are FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura, United Kingdom Royal Automobile Club chairman Ben Cussons, and chairman of Motorsport South Africa Anton Roux.
The complete FIA Senate includes the four independent members, four members by right, four appointed by the World Council for Automobile Mobility and Tourism, and four appointed by the World Motor Sport Council.
Toyota at the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans
Toyoda is the grandson of Toyota Motor Corporation founder Kiichiro Toyoda (the company name has traditionally been spelled differently from the company name), and since taking over in 2009 he’s emphasized performance cars and motorsports.
On his watch, Toyota added the sports car currently known as the GR 86 to its lineup, revived the Supra, and grew the Lexus F line of performance cars into a permanent fixture of the brand. Toyoda, who has some racing experience, personally tests new models under the guise of his alter ego “Morizo.”
Toyota currently competes in the FIA-sanctioned World Rally Championship (WRC) and World Endurance Championship (WEC). It was one of the first teams to sign on for the WEC’s new Le Mans Hypercar (LMH) class, and won the inaugural championship virtually uncontested last year. Toyota will soon have more competition, however, as more manufacturers join the LMH class and the related IMSA Le Mans Daytona hybrid (LMDh) class beginning in 2023.