The son of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda has passed away. Shoichiro Toyoda, honorary Chairman of Toyota, was 97 and died of heart failure on February 14, 2023. He is the father of current president Akio Toyoda.
Toyota confirms the passing of Shoichiro Toyoda
In an ironic play of days, Shoichiro Toyoda passed away on Valentine’s Day, just two weeks short of what would have been his birthday.
Shoichiro joined his father’s company in 1952 after graduating with a degree in engineering from Nogoya University in 1945. In only nine years, he worked his way up the corporate rungs and became managing director in 1961, and again moved up as senior managing director in 1967. His biggest leap was as the president of Toyota’s marketing and sales organization which came in 1981. It was then that the company was renamed Toyota Motor Corporation, being its president and chairman a year after.
Among his accolades was the birth of the Toyota sub-brand Lexus. His attempt to bring performance, comfort, and luxury to rival even Germany-made vehicles was a success as Lexus continues redefining itself as being in a class of its own to this day. Shoichiro Toyoda is also responsible for the brand’s expansion into the United States for vehicle manufacturing. But perhaps his most notable accomplishment was as the one who signed off on the research and development, and the “birth” of the world’s most popular hybrid vehicle, the Prius.
Shoichiro Toyoda, who was also a Ph.D., held the position of Chairman of the Board from 1992 to 1999. He was appointed as honorary chairman, a position that he held until his passing, in 2009.
The automotive industry and the rest of the world lament your passing. Rest in peace, Shoichiro Toyoda. Thank you for making Toyota what it is today.