TO THE EDITOR:
Regarding "Former Toyota President Tatsuro Toyoda dies at 88," autonews.com, Jan. 6: I met Tatsuro Toyoda during my orientation in the summer of '85. At first, I had no idea who he was; then he stuck out his hand and greeted me with a smile and firm handshake and bowed. Every time I saw Mr. T at the Fremont plant, I would greet him as I had on the first day, like a good friend.
Most every manager, group leader, team leader, team member and union rep we had made it all work. There was mutual respect and teamwork and the willingness to try a new way from people who at one time were our worst enemy — and they were going to show us how to build a car.
The American auto worker is very proud and can be hardheaded, but you have never seen a whole auto plant yelling and screaming to put out one more vehicle before your shift ends to beat yesterday's production number and the next shift's numbers. It was a sight to see and be a part of.
All I can say is Mr. T and the Japanese auto workers will always have the respect of their American brothers and sisters, and without Mr. T, that would have never happened. Rest easy my respected friend.
ANTHONY BOYD, Newark, Calif. The writer is a retired UAW member who worked at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., the joint venture plant between Toyota and General Motors in Fremont, Calif.