The History Of Toyota Motors
In its review of entrepreneurs of the 20th century, the World Press Review (1996) named Eiji Toyoda one of the top ten entrepreneurs of this century. He is not the beginning of the story of Toyota, however, nor its endpoint.
In the beginning was Sakichi Toyoda, who was followed by Kiichiro Toyoda. Sakichi Toyoda began his entrepreneurial activities during the 19th century, but he established the basic philosophy for Toyota and some of its longstanding principles. Sakichi developed the first pillar of the Toyota production system, while Kiichiro developed its second pillar (see Chart I).
It was Sakichi who developed the principle of autonomation, which he initially applied to the textile industry. His focus was …