Eiji Toyoda, key figure in Toyota’s rise, dies

Eiji Toyoda, key figure in Toyota’s rise, dies

By YURI KAGEYAMA AP Business Writer News Fuze

Posted: DenverPost.com

TOKYO—Eiji Toyoda, a member of Toyota’s founding family who helped create the super-efficient “Toyota

Way” production method, has died. He was 100.

Toyoda, a cousin of the Japanese automaker’s founder Kiichiro Toyoda, died Tuesday of heart failure at

Toyota Memorial Hospital in Toyota city, central Japan, Toyota said in a statement.

Eiji Toyoda served as president from 1967 to 1982, engineering Toyota’s growth into a global automaker.

He became chairman in 1982, and continued in advisory positions up to his death.

He spent his early years on the shop floor, and helped pioneer Toyota’s reputed just-in-time production to cut waste and empower workers for continuous improvement or “kaizen.”

A graduate of the prestigious University of Tokyo with a degree in mechanical engineering, he joined Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in 1936.

Toyota started out as a loom maker, founded by Kiichiro Toyoda’s father Sakichi. Eiji Toyoda’s father was Sakichi’s brother.

Click here to read complete article