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Shoichiro Toyoda passes on at 97

He was responsible for founding Lexus and approving the Prius

Shoichiro is the man who laid the foundation for what Toyota is today. PHOTO FROM TOYOTA

Toyota’s former president and chairman, Shoichiro Toyoda, passed away yesterday (February 14) at the ripe old age of 97 due to heart failure. He was born on February 27, 1925, to Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of Toyota.

The late Toyota leader was the father of Akio Toyoda.

Shoichiro had a long history in the family business, joining the company back in 1952 as part of its management team, and then rising through the ranks in the following years holding various positions such as managing director (1961), senior managing director (1967), and executive vice president in 1972, leading up to being the president of Toyota Motor Sales in 1981.

Shoichiro was responsible for the company's international push and the creation of its luxury arm. PHOTOS FROM TOYOTA

When Toyota Motor Corporation was formed back in 1982 after the merging of sales and production teams, he was appointed as its president. He then served as its chairman from 1992 to 1999, and was named as the firm’s honorary chairman in 2009 until his death.

A few of Shoichiro’s notable achievements during his tenure included having a big hand in the creation of Lexus, the approval of the development of the pivotal Prius Hybrid, and the expansion of Toyota into US manufacturing.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.