He resigned from the company in 1948 due to flagging sales and profitability, passing away four years later. In 1957, his cousin and confidant Eiji Toyoda would become head of Toyota Motor Corporation, overseeing its successful expansion worldwide and the launch of Japan's most prominent luxury vehicle brand, Lexus.
Eiji Toyoda (豊田英二 Toyoda Eiji) born 12 September 1913 near Nagoya in Japan, is a prominent Japanese industrialist, who was largely responsible for bringing Toyota Motor Corporation to profitability and worldwide prominence during his tenure as president and later chairman. Born into a family of textile manufacturers, Eiji Toyoda is the son of Heihachi Toyoda, the brother of Toyoda Loom Works founder Sakichi Toyoda.
He studied engineering at Tokyo Imperial University from 1933 to 1936. During this time Toyoda's cousin Kiichiro established an automobile plant at the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in the city of Nagoya in central Japan. Toyoda joined his cousin in the plant at the conclusion of his degree and throughout their lives they shared a deep friendship. In 1938, Kiichiro Toyoda asked Eiji Toyoda to oversee construction of a newer factory about 32 km east of Nagoya on the site of a red pine forest in the town of Koromo, later re-named Toyota City. Known as the Honsha ("headquarters") plant, to this day it is considered the "mother factory" for Toyota Motor production facilities worldwide.
Toyoda visited Ford's River Rouge Plant at Dearborn, Michigan, during the early 1950s. He was awed by