Former Toyota President Tatsuro Toyoda Passes At Age 88
Toyota Motor Corp. has announced the passing of Tatsuro Toyoda, the automaker’s seventh president and second son of the company’s founder. Instrumental in establishing the firm’s joint-venture with U.S. rival General Motors in 1984, referred to as the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), Tatsuro was known for his drive toward global expansion and international collaboration efforts.
Continuing on the path set out by his elder brother Shoichiro by taking the corporate helm in 1992, Tatsuro stepped down from the position in 1995 after being hospitalized for reported hypertension. However he continued on as an adviser for the automaker; a title he held until his death on December 30th. Toyota attributed Mr. Toyoda’s passing to pneumonia over the weekend.
Tatsuro’s father, Kiichiro Toyoda, founded the company in 1937. His nephew, current president Akio Toyoda, cements Toyota’s status as a family business.
Prior to his brief stint heading the company, Mr. Toyoda served as NUMMI’s first president and became known for his efforts to bring together Toyota’s corporate culture of super-efficiency, teamwork, and empowering workers with American culture — which includes updating labor-management relations to better-suit Western proclivities.
A private vigil and funeral has been held by close relatives, with Mr. Toyoda’s surviving wife, Ms. Ayako Toyoda, representing the family. Toyota plans to hold a farewell gathering for Mr. Toyoda at a later date.