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Former Toyota boss Shoichiro Toyoda dies at 97


The former boss of the automotive giant contributed to the group's industrial development worldwide and laid the foundations for its success in hybrid vehicles.

Former emblematic boss of the Japanese automobile giant Toyota founded by his father, Shoichiro Toyoda, who died on Tuesday at the age of 97, developed the group's global industrial presence and laid the foundations for its success in hybrid vehicles.

He died of heart failure and his funeral will be held privately, according to a brief statement from the group.

Born on February 27, 1925, this eldest son of Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of Toyota, joined the company in 1952, gradually rising in the hierarchy and notably improving the quality control of production.

In 1982, the arrival at the controls of this trained engineer also marked the birth of the current group, with the merger of its commercial and production activities, which had been divided since the 1950s. The success of the integration of these two opposing branches is largely the work of Shoichiro Toyoda, who led the group for ten years before becoming chairman of the board (1992-1999) and then honorary chairman until his death.

At the beginning of the 1980s, the insolent success of Japanese automobile exports had generated serious trade tensions with the United States and Europe.

Toyota realizes that it must produce locally as much as possible.

A joint venture between Toyota and the American General Motors was born in 1984, allowing the Japanese group to start production in the United States.

Other factories in the group subsequently sprang up like mushrooms in North America, but also in the rest of the world (Europe, China and Southeast Asia, Latin America, etc.).

Today Toyota manufactures two-thirds of its vehicles outside of Japan.

In 1989, Shoichiro Toyoda brought his group into the high-end automobile segment with a new brand, Lexus, mainly present in North America and China.

He also approved the development of the Toyota Prius, the first mass-produced car with a hybrid (gasoline-electric) engine, which went on sale in 1997. Hybrids subsequently became the group's cash cow, which sold a record 2.7 million Toyota and Lexus cars in this category in 2022. Shoichiro Toyoda, who was succeeded by his younger brother Tatsuro (died 2017) as head of the group, also chaired the Keidanren, the powerful Japanese employers' federation.

He was the father of Akio Toyoda, CEO of the group since 2009.

Read alsoWorld number one in the automotive industry, Toyota maintains its objectives for its 2022/23 financial year

While he was increasingly criticized externally for having delayed seriously launching his group to conquer the 100% electric segment, Akio Toyoda announced by surprise last month his replacement from April by one of his lieutenants, Koji Sato.

Aged 66, Akio Toyoda will take over as chairman of the board of directors.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-14

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