People often use phrases such as “miraculous”, “super fast”, “beyond the imagination”, etc. to refer to the economic development of Japan from the ashes of war, manufacturing is at the forefront. And the Japanese auto manufacturing industry is probably one of the most paper-consuming topics with many compliments, praises, because it is one of the symbols of the rise of Japanese industry, is a the best example of a fairytale about a poor island nation in a short time that has grown into a giant that admires the world.
Japan is the 2nd largest automobile producer in the world, after the US, and Japan’s car production in recent years accounts for more than 30% of global car production. It would be more surprising to learn that this Japanese industry started off a lot slower than the US and Western countries, but even became Japan’s second-largest industrial sector, after the electronics and appliances industry. is, and is one of the drivers of, Japan’s economic growth. To reach where it is today, the Japanese auto manufacturing industry also started from scratch and has spent nearly a hundred years.
After the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese government realized that, in order to be on par with the Western powers, it was necessary to build a modern industrial base and the government started a series of new industries – from textiles. metallurgy, engineering, mining to shipbuilding, bridges, roads, finance, insurance. Infrastructure for rapid industrial development has been established. The first cars were imported into Japan around the end of the 19th century and this was the germ of the development of the Japanese auto industry.
The first Japanese car was born in 1902 in the Sorin Shokai bicycle shop in Tokyo. The creator of this car is the 21-year-old mechanic Uchiyama Komanosuke, considered Japan’s first auto engineer. He built the chassis and bodywork for a 12-horsepower, two-cylinder petrol engine that the store owner bought from the United States. That fall, the store received an order to build a bus. After several changes of its name, the bicycle shop became Tokyo Motor Works and it was the same company that in 1907 created the first car using a locally produced gasoline engine, known as “Takkuri”.
Later, other automakers released more test models, but produced domestically in small quantities could not compete with imported cars, mostly American, flooded Japan after the Tokyo earthquake in the year. 1923. In 1914, Japan imported only 94 CBU cars, but in the three years from 1923 to 1925, it imported 7,766 units. From 1914 to 1931, Japan imported a total of 39,426 cars. Even by 1930, Japan produced only 458 cars by itself, while that same year there were 5,340,000 cars made in the United States.
Before and during World War 2, under the direction of the Government, the Japanese auto industry focused on manufacturing trucks for the military. Manufacturers such as Nissan, Toyota and then Isuzu were licensed under the “Law on automobile industries” enacted in 1935. This law aims to protect and develop the domestic car manufacturing industry, through the Tax incentives for domestic manufacturers and limits the activities of foreign firms.
World War 2 ended in August 1945, but nearly 100 Japanese cities were severely damaged by bombings. Subsequent fires have devastated large areas and more than half of Japan’s central heavy industrial belt has been devastated. However, compared to other industries, the auto manufacturing industry did not suffer much because the US bombing targets were cities, oil refineries, aircraft factories, ships, and railways.
Automakers hope to resume production soon, but because Japan failed in the war, operating in every field – from politics, economy, industry to society – was under the control of the force. occupied. And since the auto industry was considered a military industry during the war, its existence after the war was entirely within the decisive authority of the Supreme Command of allied powers. The occupation force allowed Japanese firms to continue to manufacture but mainly to manufacture trucks, and production in 1946 was only 20,000 units. Car production began again in 1952, mainly to meet the needs of taxi services.
After 1960, Japanese car production increased at an unprecedented rate. Among the companies that started producing cars at this time were Tokyo Kogyo (now Mazda), Fujijyuko Heavy Industries, Daihatsu and Honda. Around 1968, Toyota and Nissan increased exports of cars and light trucks. In the year 75, more Honda and others joined the export.
Thanks to the strong economic development, the automobile manufacturing industry has increased production to meet the increasing demand in domestic and export markets, and then quickly became an important part of the whole automobile production system. bridge.