Salvador Fernandes Caetano, was born on the 2nd of April of 1926, in S. Lourenço, parish of Vilar de Andorinho, Vila Nova de Gaia.
He began to work at the age of 11, having established himself when he was eighteen. In 1946, at the age of twenty, he founded the company Martins & Caetano & Irmão, Ltd., a factory dedicated to the body building of coaches and busses and that would be the embryo of Toyota Caetano Portugal, SA, and of the Salvador Caetano Group itself.
The first busses were exported to Great Britain in 1967.
In 1968, Toyota appointed Salvador Caetano as its exclusive Portuguese importer and distributor, with one of the best assembly lines been officially opened in Ovar in 1971.
From that date onwards, the company grew and business expanded throughout the whole Country, and later abroad, diversifying its range of products and activities.
Upon commemorating 50 years of activity – in 1996 – Salvador Fernandes Caetano, had created or acquired 50 companies of the most diverse sectors.
The internationalisation of the Group began with the creation of a company in England for marketing and after-sales service.
Mr. Salvador Caetano have been Honorary Consul of Mexico in Porto, since 1994.
Salvador Fernandes Caetano, have been distinguished with the “Grau de Comendador da Ordem de Mérito Agrícola e Industrial” (Commander of the Order of Agricultural and Industrial Merit) by the Portuguese Government, was honoured by the Japanese Government with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, and distinguished with the gold medals of the cities of Vila Nova de Gaia and Ovar.
He also received various distinctions from:
- Associação Industrial Portuense (Porto Industrial Association)
- Associação Industrial Portuguesa (Portuguese Industrial Association)
- Associação do Comércio Automóvel de Portugal (Portuguese Automobile Commerce Association) and from institutions such as Rotary and Lions. The press has distinguished Mr. Salvador Caetano, with diverse prizes:
- Empresário do Ano (Jornal Semanário) - 1980
(Entrepreneur of the Year – “Semanário” Newspaper)
- Troféu Expresso (Jornal Expresso) - 1980
(Express Trophy – “Expresso” Newspaper)
- Empresário do Ano (Jornal “O Tempo”) - 1983
(Entrepreneur of the Year – “O Tempo” Newspaper)
- Melhor Gestor (Jornal Semanário) - 1984. “Ambiente empresarial e paz social na empresa”
(Best Manager – “Semanário” Newspaper.”Entrepreneurial ambit and social peace in the company”)
Salvador Fernandes Caetano died at the age of 85, during 2011. He left a group with more than 150 companies and gathering up to 7000 workers.