He started working at the age of eleven, established himself at eighteen and, in 1946, at the age of twenty, he created Martins & Caetano & Irmão, Lda, a bus body factory that would be the embryo of Toyota Caetano Portugal, SA, and of the Group itself. The first bus export contract dates back to 1967 for England. In 1968, he became Toyota’s exclusive representative in Portugal, building one of the best industrial assembly units in Ovar, launched in 1971.
Since then, the company’s growth and business expansion spread throughout the country, and later abroad, and also diversified products and activities. With 50 years of activity – in 1996 – Salvador Fernandes Caetano, had already created or acquired 50 companies from the most various sectors of activity.
The internationalization of the Group, started with the creation of a company in England for trade and after-sales assistance, has a particular expression in Palop’s, and more recently in:
The distinctions received by various entities, such as the Portuguese Industrial Association, the Automobile Trade Association of Portugal and institutions such as Rotary and Lions, stand out. Also, the press has laureated Salvador Fernandes Caetano with several awards, such as “Entrepreneur of the Year” (1980), “Expresso Trophy” (Expresso newspaper) – 1980, “Entrepreneur of the Year” In 2006, Salvador Fernandes Caetano was named by the Car of the Year / Crystal Wheel Trophy Organization as “Personality of the Year”.