Former Toyota Motor President Tatsuro Toyoda, who assisted the Japanese automaker become an international commercial power in the early 1990s, passed away at the age of 88, the company stated on Saturday.
The son of the company’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, he took a significant role in automaker’s worldwide growth throughout the 1980s and 1990s and led the company from 1992 to 1995 as the automaker accelerated its worldwide growth.
He was the first president of the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc, or NUMMI, plant located in California during the mid-1980s, a joint venture with General Motors that showed Toyota’s extremely effective production system could be adjusted to the culture of operations outside its home country of Japan.
NUMMI led the way for Toyota’s subsequent investments in its own U.S. assembly and parts factories. Toyota now has 10 production operations in the United States.
In 1995, Toyoda stepped down as president. Toyota stated in a short declaration that Toyoda died of pneumonia on December 30. He is survived by his spouse, Ayako Toyoda.