Who: Eiji Toyoda
When: 17 September 2013
Eiji Toyoda, who helped steer Toyota Motor Corporation’s global rise and pioneered the automaker's vaunted production system, died on 17 September 2013. He was 100.
Eiji Toyoda, a cousin of the Japanese automaker's founder Kiichiro Toyoda, died of heart failure in Toyota City.
A graduate of the prestigious University of Tokyo with a degree in mechanical engineering, he joined Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in 1936. Eiji Toyoda served as president of the Toyota Motor Corporation between 1967 and 1982. He was chairman until 1994 and remained an honorary advisor at Toyota up until the time of his death.
Eiji Toyoda was also instrumental in developing what became the automaker's much-imitated method of producing cars with as little waste as possible and continual quality improvements, a system that became known as the "Toyota Way".
Over his career, Eiji Toyoda presided over Toyota's rise in the US market from the launch of the Corolla in the late 1960s to the decision to begin making cars in the United States in the late 1980s.
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