Eiji Toyoda (12 September 1913 – 17 September 2013) was largely responsible for bringing Toyota Motor Corporation to profitability and worldwide prominence during his tenure as president and chairman. Born into a family of textile manufacturers, he is the son of Heikichi Toyoda, the brother of Toyoda Loom Works founder Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Industries Corporation.
Toyoda visited Ford River Rouge Complex at Dearborn, Michigan during the early 1950’s. He was impressed by the size of the facility, but dismissive of what he saw as its inefficiencies. Toyoda decided to adopt American automobile mass production methods but with a qualitative twist.
He was later described as “the Japanese equivalent of Henry Ford.”