Former Toyota Chairman Dies
TOKYO (AP) _ Masaya Hanai, a former chairman of Toyota, one of the world’s top three automakers, has died of kidney failure, a company official said Monday. He was 82.
Hanai became director of Toyota Motor Co. in 1959 and was instrumental in helping the company become one of the world’s most competitive.
In the 1960s he played a major role in building Toyota’s cartel-like structure of mutually dependent suppliers, financiers and manufacturers that has become characteristic of Japanese export industries.
In the 1970s, his policies helped Toyota become efficient enough to survive the oil crises and stand up to increased competition. He is credited with helping the auto giant become a debt-free enterprise.
Hanai retired to the post of adviser in 1982 when Toyota Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Sales Co. merged to form Toyota Motor Corp.
Hanai died late Saturday at a hospital in Toyoda, central Japan, said Toyota spokeswoman Mie Aoyama.