Toyota will choose vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada as its next chairman, according to The Nikkei business newspaper [and other reports from Japan].

Uchiyamada, 66, previously led the company’s technology department and spearheaded the development of Prius hybrid vehicles – he is sometimes referred to as ‘the father of the Prius’.

He became executive vice president in 2005 and has played a key role in expanding Toyota’s product line-up ever since, particularly its selection of hybrids.

He became vice chairman in 2012. Current chairman Fujio Cho, 75, will likely become a senior adviser, The Nikkei reported.

The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), meanwhile, plans to appoint Uchiyamada as its vice chairman as a replacement for Katsuaki Watanabe, who now serves as a senior adviser to Toyota.

Separately, Toyota affiliate Daihatsu plans to select executive vice president Masanori Mitsui as its new president and Yasuhiko Ichihashi will step up from his EVP role to become president at Hino Motors, another Toyota group firm. These appointments are expected to be finalised in June.