Shoichiro Toyoda, Toyota founder’s son, passes away at 97 – Times of India

Toyota’s honorary chairman and the company founder’s son Shoichiro Toyoda has passed away. He was 97. Toyoda died of heart failure on Tuesday, Toyota Motor Corp said in a statement. Shoichiro was the eldest son of Kiichiro Toyoda who founded the company in 1937. He is succeeded by Akio Toyoda, now chairman and former president and chief executive.
Shoichiro Toyoda is often revered as the force behind taking Toyota towards global growth. He became president in 1982 and helped direct the company’s growth in international markets, especially in the US where Toyota came to be synonymous with quality and durability.
People were skeptical when Kiichiro Toyoda said he wanted to start building cars in 1933. Back then, Japan only had imported cars like GMs and Fords.
Today, “The Toyota Way,” a production method that empowers each worker for quality control, is viewed as the best in the auto industry. Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, is among the world’s top automakers in vehicle sales.

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A funeral for Shoichiro Toyoda was being held for close family, AP reported. A “farewell” event in his honour is being planned for a later date, according to Toyota. Details of other surviving family members were not immediately available.
In related news, Toyota Motor Corp announced earlier in January that Akio Toyoda is stepping down as president and chief executive to become chairman from the 1st of April, and hand over the helm of Japan’s biggest automaker to its top branding officer, Koji Sato. Sato will become the new CEO while the current chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, will drop his chairman title but remain on the board.

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