Toyota has had number of chiefs over its 76-year history, but none ever served as long as Eiji Toyoda. The younger cousin of the company's founder served as president of the automaker from 1967 to 1982 and as chairman of the Toyota Motor Corporation for another ten years following the unification of the manufacturing and sales divisions.

During his 25 years at the helm, Eiji Toyoda (pictured above in 1967) was credited with establishing the company's headquarters in Toyota City, spearheading the development of the Prius, expanding production overseas for the first time, launching the Lexus brand and turning Toyota from a minor player into one of the largest automakers in the world.

Even after his retirement in 1992, he remained an honorary chairman and close advisor to his successors, and chaired the company's museum. He died of heart failure, ending a 100-year life that started on September 12, 1913, before the company that bore his family's name (albeit slightly modified) had even started building automatic looms, let alone automobiles. We extend our condolences to the Toyoda family and our congratulations on an accomplished life.


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