Eiji Toyoda (pictured), who remained an honorary adviser at Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) where he began his career on the shop floor, is widely credited as the man who added the qualities of continuous improvement and innovation to the mass production techniques he discovered at Ford in America.
A statement from TMC said: “We mourn the loss of automotive pioneer Eiji Toyoda whose contribution and leadership helped make Toyota what it is today.”
Mr Toyoda was born September 12, 1913 and graduated from Tokyo University with a degree in mechanical engineering before joining Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in 1936. A year later he moved to the company’s newly established automotive subsidiary, that is now TMC.
He spent his early career in manufacturing operations and supervising activities on the shop floor, such as machining work and participating in production planning. A director at Toyota since 1945, he remained in the manufacturing side of the company’s operations and when the Toyota production and marketing organisations were merged in 1982, Mr Toyoda assumed the chairmanship of the board. He served until 1992, and then served as honorary chairman from 1992 to 1999. He became honorary advisor of TMC in 1999.
Numerous decorations and honours were bestowed on him during an illustrious career, including his induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame, Michigan.
This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.