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.

Employe Brian | Toy Doctor Inc

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.

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