Death of Founder Kiichiro Toyoda and Risaburo Toyoda

Kiichiro Toyoda passed away on March 27, 1952 while the Production Facility Modernization Five-Year Plan was underway. A provisional decision had been made to reinstate Kiichiro as president at the general shareholders meeting in July, and his sudden death occurred while preparations for his reinstatement were being made. Eiji Toyoda recalled Kiichiro's death:

When the decision was made to reinstate Kiichiro, he felt motivated and was excited about it. However on March 27, he died suddenly from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was only 57 years old and still had much to do. When I think about it now, his excitement for the future must have been too much for his body to take.1

When Kiichiro resigned as president in June 1950, he was traveling between Tokyo and Nagoya and conducting research on a helicopter and a new type of gasoline engine to be used with it.2

On June 3, 1952, a little more than two months after Kiichiro's death, Risaburo Toyoda, the first president of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd., died at the age of 68. Eiji recalls his death:

Risaburo was already ill and bedridden at the time of Kiichiro's death and was not able to attend the funeral. I reported the events of the funeral at his home in Nagoya, and Risaburo grumbled from his bed, 'Toyota has to make passenger cars.' The person who had been most strongly opposed to Toyota making automobiles was now saying, 'Toyota can't make just trucks-no matter what, it has to make passenger cars too.' I turned to Risaburo and said, 'We are now making the preparations for a passenger car and it will be completed soon. Please take a look at it.' But Risaburo died without ever having the opportunity to see the new car.3

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