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  History of Toyota 2

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Kiichiro, the biological son of the founder Sakichi, joined the company for production of looms after his engineering degree in 1920. With 63 years Sakichi Toyoda died in 1930 with the urgent desire, his son may not remain merely at the looms and the new spinning machines, but to use the capital obtained therewith, in order to stimulate the production of automobiles.

He gave his son not only a look at the existing factories in the decade, but sent him on a journey to the United States and England. Kiichiro had already made his first experience with a motorcycle engine. He followed this dream his lifetime with only very minor breaks.

But the conditions for the fulfillment of this dream were extremely unfavourable in the early 1930's. Because of import restrictions, the two biggest automakers from the United States, Ford and General Motors had assembly plants in Japan, as well in continuous flow production like the assembly lines at home. Against their experience there seemed to be no remedy. The production of domestic vehicles, however, was nearly unimportant.

In contrast to, for example, Germany Japan had not even coal, not to mention other raw materials. There were strong interests for expansion, in the east probably one of the reasons for the outbreak of World War II. After all, Taiwan and Korea were part of the Japanese Empire that was still on the road to democracy. The position of the military became Increasingly stronger.

Grip on the mainland China or Manchuria would have been simply the solution not only of raw material problems. After all, one had won the war against Russia in 1905 and since then had occupied parts of Manchuria. Also in 1930, the army undertook in their favour successful warlike occupations in other parts of Manchuria.

Until the disastrous end of the Second World War in 1945 the army itself appeared as a state within a state, not only difficult to control, but practicing control itself. This had an decisive impact on the beginnings of the automobile manufacturing of Kiichiro Toyoda. The wanted actually to build a car, not small but with strong American influences. With parts of the big three manufacturers from the United States. So there was a six-cylinder GM godfather for the engine.

But even dismantling, extrem accurate measurements and the subsequent reconstruction brought enormous problems. A lot of money was lost without success became visible. The AA saloon could be manufactured much later than initially expected. Kiichiro had to ask repeatedly for money the husband of his sister, the Sakichi yet had hired as head of the factory.

The dominant position of the military helped him. The needed trucks and Toyota manufactured fortunately a car with a conventional chassis and six-cylinder. Diesel engines in trucks were rare at that time in Europe also. That fitted well, because the possible sales of a relatively large passenger car was rather vague, but the military would take the trucks guaranteed.

Actually the ensuing time was used already for the preparation for war, similiar to Germany. And since one did not want to be depended, as far as the material is affected, from the potential enemy. Material or rather raw materials procurement had played already an important role during the First World War. However, the afterwards following influence of the military had some negative aspects. 10/15

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