Who is Soichiro Toyoda?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Toyota Motor Corporation was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937, having originally been a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, run by Kiichiro's father. The automatic loom business still exists, making automatic looms and electric sewing machines but is, predictably, computerized. Soichiro Toyoda is the son of Kiichiro and is currently honorary chairman of the Toyota Motor Corporation. The name Toyota, rather than Toyoda, apparently derives from a more-preferred word in Japanese.

Working his way through the company, it was Soichiro who recognized the need for improved quality in Toyota's vehicles and, being well-versed in business, he introduced the concept of Total Quality Management (TQM) into Toyota. Inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame, he finds his name alongside the founders of Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Ferrari and Honda, to name a few.  

Soichiro Toyoda is, accordingly, one of Japan's most successful and respected business leaders. 

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sid-sarfraz | Student, Graduate | (Level 2) Salutatorian

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Shoichiro Toyoda AC, KBE, GCM, FREng is a Japanese business leader, serving as chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation between 1992–1999 and also serving as chairman of the powerful Japan Business Federation

Shoichiro Toyoda was born February 27, 1925. He graduated from Nagoya University in September 1947 with a degree in engineering and joined Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) in July 1952. He later earned an engineering doctorate, with the subject of his thesis centered on fuel injection.

Automotive technology, quality control and factory management have been primary emphases for Dr. Toyoda throughout his career. He became managing director in 1961, and after promotions to senior managing director in 1967 and executive vice president in 1972, he was named president of Toyota’s sales organization in 1981. Upon the merger of the sales and production organizations in 1982, he assumed the presidency of the newly integrated TMC, and later served as chairman of the board from 1992 to 1999. After serving on the board for 57 years, Dr. Toyoda now serves as honorary chairman, a position he has held since June 1999.

Key non-TMC posts:
  • Director, Denso Corporation (1964-)
  • President, Toyota Physical and Chemical Research Institute (1974-)
  • Director, Institute for International Economic Studies (1983-)
  • Honorary counsul general (Nagoya), Costa Rica (1984-)
  • Corporate auditor, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. (1989-)
  • Advisor, Japan Association of Corporate Executives (1990-)
  • Chairman & CEO, Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc. (1995-)
  • Chairman & CEO, Genesis Research Institute, Inc. (1996-)
  • Chairman, Towa Estate Co., Ltd. (1998-)
  • Honorary chairman, Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren) (2002-)
  • President, Kaiyo Academy (2006-)
  • Honorary chairman, Automobile Business Association of Japan (2012-)
Awards and citations:
  •  Medal with Dark-blue Ribbon, Japan, 1972
  • Deming Prize, 1980
  • Medal with Blue Ribbon, Japan, 1984
  • Medal with Dark-blue Ribbon, Japan, 1984
  • Medal with Dark-blue Ribbon, Japan, 1985
  • Knight Commander of the Most Noble Order of the Crown, Thailand, 1990
  • Commander of the Order of Leopold, Belgium, 1991
  • Gran Cruz de la Order Nacional al Merit, Colombia, 1991
  • Economic Medal First Class, Taiwan, 1993
  • Knight Commander of the British Empire, UK, 1995
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Japan, 1995
  • Order Francisco de Miranda, First Class, Venezuela, 1995
  • Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil, 1996
  • Order of Merit, Turkey, 1998
  • Legion D’Honneur, Commandeur, France, 1998
  • Grande Ufficiale, Italy, 1998
  • Honorary companion (AC) within the General Division of the Order of Australia, Australia, 1999
  • Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold with Star, Austria, 1999
  • (Comendador) of the Medal of Isabel la Catolica, Spain, 2000
  • FISITA Medal, International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies, 2000
  • Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit, Federal Republic of Germany, 2001
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan, 2002
  • Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit, Republic of Poland, 2004
  • Knight Grand Cross (First Class) of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhom, Thailand, 2004
  • La Legion D’Honneur, Commandeur, France, 2005
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, Portuguese Republic, 2005
  • Commander of the Equatorial Star of Gabon and the Juan Mora Fernandez, Grado de Gran Cruz, Placa de Plata, Costa Rica, 2005
  • Commander of the Equatorial Star of Gabon, 2005
  • Induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame, Michigan, U.S.A., 2007
  • Cavaliere di Gran Croce decorato di Gran Cordone, Italy, 2007
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers, Japan, 2007
  • The Order of Lakandula with the Rank of Bayani, Republic of the Philippines, 2010
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malkaam | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Shoichiro Toyoda is honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, which he joined in 1952. Dr. Toyoda progressed through numerous positions with the company before being named chairman in 1992. He assumed the presidency of the newly integrated Toyota Motor Corporation in 1982, having previously served as executive vice president and senior managing director. Dr. Toyoda serves on the boards of a number of corporate and non-corporate organizations. He has been honorary chairman of the Japanese Federation of Economic Organizations (Nippon Keidanren) since 2002. In addition, he has received more than two dozen awards and medals in Japan, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Dr. Toyoda holds BS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering.

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