Cited for his extraordinary vision and entrepreneurial spirit, Toyota Motor Corporation founder and former president Kiichiro Toyoda (1894-1952) was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame last evening in Detroit.
Kiichiro Toyoda was one of five industry leaders named to this year's Automotive Hall of Fame induction class. He is credited with expanding Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, a successful textile business created by his father, Sakichi Toyoda, into the world of automotive manufacturing in 1933. Kiichiro Toyoda served as president of Toyota Motor Corporation from 1941 to 1950. His technical skills and leadership forged the foundations of a company that would eventually grow to be one of the most respected corporations in the world. (See here for more information about Kiichiro Toyoda.)
"Kiichiro Toyoda embodied the foresight and innovation that few people in history possess, demonstrated by his significant contributions to the automotive industry. We are honored to include him in the 2018 induction class to the Automotive Hall of Fame", stated Ramzi Hermiz, president and CEO, Shiloh Industries and Board chairman, Automotive Hall of Fame.
A contingent of Toyota Motor Corporation executives, led by chairman of the Board Takeshi Uchiyamada, were on hand at the Automotive Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Ceremony on July 19. Mr Uchiyamada accepted Kiichiro Toyoda's award on behalf of the company and the family.
"America was a special place for Kiichiro. He was amazed by the prevalence of automobiles driving around U.S. cities in the late 1920s, and that was the catalyst for his determination to establish an automotive industry in his home country. As a successor and his grandson, I am very grateful and proud that Kiichiro has been inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in America," said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation.
"Kiichiro boldly changed Toyota's business model from automatic looms to automobiles without being constrained by previous successes. As his induction comes at a time when our industry is facing profound changes, I believe his message today would be to work hard to help the industry revolutionize the future of mobility, even if success is not immediate. I deeply appreciate the Automotive Hall of Fame for inducting my grandfather and our founder," he added.
The celebration was highlighted by the presence of a 1936 Toyoda AA replica vehicle, on loan from the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The Toyoda AA was designed and manufactured under the guidance of Kiichiro Toyoda. The AA was the company's first production automobile and served as Kiichiro Toyoda's initial opportunity to experiment with waste-free and efficiency-focused production techniques, including the famous ‘just-in-time’ concept. The vehicle helped pave the way for the renowned Toyota Production System."
What is the Automotive Hall of Fame?
The Automotive Hall of Fame tells the stories of those who have made outstanding contributions to the automotive industry and has honored nearly 800 men and women from around the world since 1939. The Automotive Hall of Fame is located at 21400 Oakwood Blvd. in Dearborn, Michigan and is open to the public for tours. You can visit the Automotive Hall of Fame online at www.automotivehalloffame.org