Respected Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) executive Takeshi Uchiyamada - the driving force behind the world's best-selling hybrid car, the Toyota Prius - was today confirmed as the company's new chairman. Mr Uchiyamada replaces Fujio Cho, a former company president who has been chairman since 2006 and has now been appointed honorary chairman.
The changes were ratified today at a shareholder meeting in Japan after being announced in March by TMC President Akio Toyoda. Mr Toyoda said Mr Uchiyamada was the "father of the Prius", the world's first mass-production hybrid vehicle.
He described Mr Uchiyamada as "an engineer that has opened the road to the future of automobiles through advanced hybrid technology".
"As vice chairman, his responsibilities have centered on the field of technology," Mr Toyoda said.
"As a chairman with an engineering background, he will lead overall Toyota management with the following two questions in mind: i) What is it that Toyota should do to contribute to global society? and ii) What is it that Toyota should do to create innovative technologies that can contribute to society?
"In line with his appointment as vice chairman of the Japan Business Federation, also known as Keidanren, his activities will span a wider field."
Mr Toyoda also paid tribute to Mr Cho, who served as president from 2009, saying he provided valuable advice, based on his vast experience and deep passion for Toyota.
"He is very much a person who has passed on to the Toyota of today the DNA of a company steeped in the ways of monozukuri (conscientious manufacturing)," Mr Toyoda said.