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Toyota’s founding family set for succession

Shoichiro Toyoda, the honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corp, is expected to resign this year according to Japanese media reports, suggesting an ownership transition is taking place within the founding family.

The 83-year-old’s father, Kiichiro Toyoda, founded the motor company while his grandfather Sakichi Toyoda is credited with starting the Toyota dynasty.

Shoichiro joined the business as a director in 1952, served as president between 1982–1992 and has been honorary chairman since 1999.

The news seems to confirm the shifting of family ownership from the third to the fourth generation. Just last week, it was reported that Akio Toyoda, Shoichiro’s son, is set to become the company’s next president.

Akio (pictured) would be the first member of the founding family, which collectively owns a 2% stake in the company, to be in operational charge since 1995.

The changing of the guard is happening at very difficult time in Toyota’s history. The firm, which has revenues of $26 billion, is expected to report its first annual operating loss in 70 years later this year as the global economic crisis hits the automobile industry hard.

However, analysts are hoping the next Toyoda generation will inject fresh impetus into the business.

Related link:
Toyota set to name family member as new president

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