Head of product planning and advanced technology, Toyota Motor Corp.
Chosen because: Uchiyamada was selected to run the 10-member Prius project development team in 1994 even though his specialty was noise, harshness and vibration. He faced a 15-month deadline between design freeze of the Prius and the start of production in December 2007. Uchiyamada succeeded so well that he was made head of r&d in June 2009. Now Uchiyamada, 64, is overseeing the launch of 11 new or redesigned gasoline-electric hybrids by 2012. Among the planned launches is a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius. He also predicts Toyota will have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for the general public on sale by 2015.
Quote: "When we started, the purpose wasn't to do a specific car project. It was to make a vehicle suitable for the 21st century."