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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:20 am 
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toyotageek wrote:
What I get out of this story, is not only what was going on during these early developmental years of Toyota, but it gives us a glimpse into the overall mindset and philosphy of the men that made up Toyota (as well as countless other companies) during this time.


We can only hope those values live on in the corporations of today...

This story would actually make a great movie. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Yeah. When you're the new kid on the block there's not so much red tape and bean counting.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:46 pm 

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Here's the next page
-------------------------

Chrysler’s knockdown production facility [where cars are put together from parts made in a different country], the “Joint Automotive Works” factory, was in Yokohama. With the Manchurian Incident , the Second Sino-Japanese War still ongoing, and the situation between the US and Japan becoming complicated, the importation of parts had become difficult. The state of foreign investment just kept getting worse. Therefore, they changed course by making a model of the medium-sized Willys, then making the parts and assembling it in Japan.
It was decided that Nakamura would draw out that plan. The section chief that was his boss was no good at business planning. Eventually, the young Nakamura was going to do it by himself, but he was pressured to quickly do it. The people in the company thought that if you can make the various parts drawings, then you can make the parts and put them together to make a car. However, if Nakamura was going to do it the way they needed it, he had to get all the drawn-up plans ready, thoroughly check them, and check out everything related to each part. Therefore, he had to follow the procedure.
However, on the outside, Nakamura projected an attitude as if he had to carry the job by himself, and he was preventing progress on the whole thing. The department head made him recklessly speed up to quickly finish the plans, because they would have to present to the president at the end and everyone was waiting with their hands open. No matter how much Nakamura explained, he wouldn’t understand. Since Nakamura didn’t have responsibilities over many things, he decided to quit. It was May of 1938 (Showa 13). He would have had to finish the plan by August, so he quit the job.
After that, the project was called “Sunshine” [日光号] and an experimental car was made, here and there problem areas appeared, and they apparently struggled through it. Nakamura caught wind that they were saying that it would have been good if the president heard things Nakamura was saying, but in the end, nothing became of the “Sunshine” project and it was finished.
After that whole event, Nakamura joined Toyota in September and hoped to be assigned to the Planning or Experimental Department, but he was interested in the details of welding and went around the Body Production Section. At Toyota, there was a shortage of Electrical Engineers, so Nakamura’s joining was a godsend.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:56 pm 
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So keeping to a schedule was more important than getting it right, so Nakamura quit. Good for him. Their loss was Toyota's gain.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:43 pm 
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Nakamura had principles :tu: :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:48 pm 

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More on Nakamura, and the start of the crown story, it seems. :)

-------------------------------------------

Nakamura, after entering the company, noticed that the plans from the planning department weren’t very accurate and the techniques used for them were crude. The plans that Japanese made had clean, good-looking drawings, but they lacked the content of American plans. To Nakamura, looking at Chrysler’s plans, the difference between the Japanese and American car makers’ true strength was clear. After that, he pointed out the deficiencies of the drawings, and got in a fight with the engineers of Planning Department.

He summed up the drawings by saying that they are used to make a “thing” and they each correspond to one thing, so those instructions need to be precisely drawn out in the drawings. A car is made up of a system of parts, and if the drawing isn’t a reflection of that, then you’re going to run into trouble when the time comes to make it. Nakamura said his complaints without holding his tongue, even letting out things he had put aside before. However, since the things he said were all valid points, even though they argued, they recognized what he was saying, and they went on to became good friends.


Having that experience, Nakamura, who had been designing machines for car body production at Toyota, becoming the chief of this Crown project’s development plan wasn’t such a bad choice after all.



The first thing Nakamura did for the Crown plan, was to visit Toyota’s main dealerships and taxi companies in Tokyo, Osaka, and other cities and get the opinions of the presidents and service workers. By finding out what kind of car the first line of people who buy and use the car want, he strengthened his plan and gave it a solid start. In other words, it was market research.

When conducting research through this type of direct interview, Nakamura faced them without preconceptions or guesses. While listening to their opinions after asking, “What kind of car should we make?” he tried to imagine the car in his head. He didn’t draw “the way the car should be” in his head and run to that ideal. He persistently dealt with everything pragmatically and wanted to explore every direction. While that was Nakamura’s way of doing things, it was also what Eiji and Saito wanted as well.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:13 pm 
oh Im sorry Im not good on that.. :(


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Thanks for another page, MechSpec.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:02 am 
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This is cool! Loving the background info... Thanks again Larry! :tu:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:27 pm 
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Ditto on the thanks :)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:52 pm 

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Sorry for falling off the pace lately. Finally, here is the next segment :)

--------------------
At all the dealers and taxi companies that Nakamura had contacted, there were big hopes for a real passenger car being developed by Toyota. They all kept saying how excited they were about it. Coming from a user standpoint, the people in the taxi companies came up with lots of specific requests. Since the main customer for passenger cars at the dealerships was taxi companies, there were lots of requests from the standpoint of the car being used as a taxi.

Here’s a rough summary of what happened:
For the body, there were many people who supported an American style car. Even within the framework for a small car, everyone agreed that they wanted the car’s looks to stand out. Since the pre-war years, American cars were imported in overwhelmingly large numbers to be used as hired cars and taxis. That image strongly influenced a preference for American-type cars. For hired cars like taxis, they naturally wanted this look.

Opinions were largely split on the specifications for the front suspension. Since hired cars can run for more than 10,000 kilometers a month, something rugged enough to stand that kind of abuse was needed. There were many people who thought the car needed a rigid suspension for its durability, even if the ride comfort suffered a little. On the other hand, since advances in comfort were in demand at the time, some thought it would be good to have an independent suspension. This goes to show that even if there are people always people on both sides of the fence.

At the time, there was a type of independent suspension with a trailing arm design called “Knee Action” that was used by Chevrolet in the 30’s and was being heavily considered. As well as needing to serve its duty as a shock absorber on the arm, they were also hoping it would improve the comfort as well. However, on Japan’s commonly unpaved roads, troubles would start happening often, and if that happened, a taxi company would end up being driven to bankruptcy. In their own country, Chrysler vehicles were changed to the wishbone-type independent suspension. Also, Ford, who started a fierce sales competition with Chevrolet in Japan, saw few problems because of the rigid suspensions on their cars, and taxi companies starting replacing all their Chevrolets with Fords. These bitter memories left a strong impression. Therefore, the “Knee Action” was rejected, as there were more people who thought a rigid suspension would give peace of mind.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:09 am 
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Excellent! Very cool to read this stuff.
As always, Thank You Larry! :tu: :D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:20 pm 
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Ditto on the arigatos!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:57 pm 

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Sorry for the lapse, but here's the next part! We should get to the next chapter soon.

---------------------

Toyotas up to this point all had rigid suspensions and were based on truck frames, so durability was never an issue. However, the unsprung weight was greater, making the ride quality poor. Furthermore, leaf springs were used, which have to fit around the engine and other systems under the front floor. This takes space away for the driver’s seat and makes the space smaller.


People who know that would tell you that it is not necessary to keep using rigid suspensions. However, on the other hand, people who wanted to stay with rigid suspensions would point out that with the wishbone-type suspensions of the time, accelerated tire wear was a problem. As far as consumable parts go, tires were expensive, and at taxi companies this expense wasn’t something to be taken lightly.

However, Nakamura naturally saw the solution to this problem. People who wanted the rigid suspension were interested in its durability. Therefore, even if you went with a wishbone-type suspension and it could stand up to abuse, it would be good. Of course, it wouldn’t do to sacrifice ride comfort and cabin space. Nakamura would make sure to find a way that would address all opinions.

Also, having the body on a frame was desirable. To make the interior brighter, the glass area would be made as large as possible. To make it easy for the driver and assistant to open the door for the guest seats, the front and back doors opened from the middle, so-called suicide doors [the Japanese term used is Kannon-biraki, which comes from the small shrines to the goddess Kannon that have doors that open this way. See this Picture.] would be good, and to make the drainage good for times when the inside is cleaned with water, the floor was raised in the center and it gently sloped down to the doors. Details like these came from the submitted requests and ideas.

With that, the outline for the image of the new car began to take shape. This car, later given the name “Crown,” was called the RS Model at the time. The R, as we know, refers to the R-type engine. The decided standard for small cars at the time was a displacement 1500cc and below, a total length of less than 4600 millimeters [181 inches], a height of less than 2000 mm [79 inches], and a width of less than 1600 mm [63 inches]. If this frame was exceeded, excise and vehicle taxes greatly increased.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:47 pm 
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Woo hoo! The story continues!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:48 am 
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Thanks again Larry! :tu: :D
I will get the next chapter uploaded in the next day or so...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:14 pm 

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Hi guys,
Sorry for the long wait again this time, but I've finally finished the next page.
-----------------

Since the engine they had was 1500cc, the car would naturally be made within these limits, but also to make the interior roomier and improve the drivability, some extra width was desired. Therefore, all the car makers went to the Ministry of Transport and petitioned to get the regulation changed; even the chief of Engineering at Toyota, Hanji UMEHARA, focused on getting this done. At that time, they expected it to be quickly accepted. In development for at least a few years, the RS model was designed with the future in mind and they decided to make the width 1680 mm [66 inches]. Luckily, the following year, the width for small cars changed to 1680 mm.

The design was started with those guidelines, but no matter how much time Nakamura worked on it, Eiji TOYODA was a little worried, and he said he was going to add an assistant. With that, the Engineering chief, Hanji UMEHARA, recommended Body Design chief clerk Tatsuo HASEGAWA.

Hasegawa, who started at Toyota in June 1947 (Showa 22), designed advanced cab-over-type buses, and his abilities were highly valued. He would later be the chief engineer of development for the first Corolla model, then the manager of product development; he is an engineer that helped Toyota become as successful as it is today. He graduated in Aeronautical Engineering from Tokyo University in 1939 (Showa 14), and started work at Tachikawa Aircraft Company. At 27, he became the chief engineer for the design of the “Ki-94” fighter, designed to fight the American B-29 bomber. At the time, he was the youngest head designer.

After the war, Tachikawa developed electric cars under the name Tama Motors [ pictures of the car here], and later merged with Fuji Seimitsu and formed Prince Motor Company, and with the turmoil after the end of the war, Hasegawa quit from Tachikawa Aircraft Company. Later, the leader of Tama Motors saw Hasegawa doing well at Toyota, and he always said that not leaving to go there was the mistake of his life.

Eiji called a meeting with the head of engineering, UMEHARA, and also the section chief, Tatsu INAGAWA, to talk with Nakamura. Inagawa thought that Hasegawa would succeed him, and he was opposed to them taking away Hasegawa, because he was vital to body planning.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:13 am 
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Thanks Larry! :tu:

This is an interesting piece of the story!

BTW, Hasegawa was also instrumental in the design of the Toyota Sports 800. Sad to say he passed away in 2008. His son has a webpage dedicated to him: http://www.geocities.jp/pinealguy/tatsuo/tatsuo.htm

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:59 pm 

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Sorry for the long wait this time. Here's the next part:

===============

Inagawa’s immediate boss picked Hasegawa personally, but Inagawa was strongly opposed to this and tried to stand in the way. Even after Eiji explained the situation, Inagawa simply wouldn’t give in. After a while, Nakamura said “Somebody please decide.” and bowed his head. Eiji, as if waiting for that, said “Nakamura has finally made a request? That decides it.” And it was done. Inagawa made a face and left the room.

And like that, Hasegawa moved to the seat next to Nakamura in the body factory. It was at the end of the February, when it was still cold. Hasegawa also went himself to visit dealers and taxi companies to ask for their opinions. Nakamura asked Hasegawa to collect unique styling ideas for the creation of a plan for the body.

What kind of car would it be? The image took shape a little at a time, and Nakamura enthusiastically worked to give it form. Since they actually had no experience developing cars, and they had no clear plan, they had to ask themselves many questions. Although it was a steep, far away mountain that had never been climbed before, they still went ahead to try and climb it.



While trying to move to the next stage, on March 27th, former president, Kiichiro TOYODA, fell from a sudden stroke and passed away. Not only Nakamura, but the entire company of Toyota was shocked at the news.

In 1950 (Showa 25), Kiichiro retired to become a consultant, but he immediately was resolved to eventually return. At the General Meeting of Stockholders in July, he formally announced his return, and he once again took command as the head of Toyota. He was reluctant to return at first, but finally accepted after being persuaded by Taizo ISHIDA, and it was said he was very excited about it. Eiji said that he was so excited that he could have died. He was 58. He was a heavy smoker and hard drinker, but he also inherited high blood pressure from his parents, so his doctor and the people around him all asked him to stop. However, he reportedly paid no attention and kept drinking. He had a stroke while at a meal in Tokyo and fell over; he passed away that night.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:22 pm 
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MechSpec wrote:
He had a stroke while at a meal in Tokyo and fell over; he passed away that night.


:shock:

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