The longest-serving Toyota president in the automaker's history, Eiji Toyoda, died yesterday aged 100. He was a cousin of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda and ran the company from 1967 up until 1982. He served as chairman until 1994 and as an honorary advisor right up until the time of his death.

Toyoda is charged with Toyota’s rise to dominance in the global auto industry as well as fathering the Corolla nameplate in 1966 and the Lexus brand in 1989. Another of his achievements was establishing ‘The Toyota Way’ for manufacturing, where cars are produced with as little waste as possible.

When Toyoda started, Toyota was still producing cars using parts sourced from General Motors. After being appointed a director in 1945, he helped transform Toyota into the world’s biggest automaker, by streamlining production, entering new markets and establishing a luxury division.

Toyoda passed away from a heart attack in a hospital originally established by Toyota as a medical center for its factory workers back in 1938. A relative of his, Akio Toyoda, the grandson of the company's founder, is currently running the automaker.


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