Ex-Toyota head Tatsuro Toyoda, who led overseas drive, dies

Tokyo - Tatsuro Toyoda, the former Toyota Motor Corp. president who led the company's climb to become one of the world's top automakers, has died. He was 88.

The Japanese automaker said Saturday that Toyoda, the son of the company's founder, died December 30 of pneumonia.

Toyoda stepped down as president in 1995, while continuing in other posts, such as adviser.

He was instrumental in setting up the California joint venture with U.S. rival General Motors called NUMMI, or New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., which began production in 1984. He served as NUMMI's first president.

His father is Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded the company.

A service with family has been held, but a bigger farewell is being planned, according to the automaker.

He is survived by his wife, Ayako Toyoda.

Image: AP / Via Toyota 

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