Sakichi Toyoda Biography
Sakichi Toyoda (February 14, 1867 – October 30, 1930) was a Japanese inventor and industrialist. He was born in the Kosai region, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. His father was a Japanese carpenter. and Sakichi would join his father in the workshop which made him interested in the creation of artifacts, and later on, Toyoda would dabble in the mechanical devices.
By 1891, Sakichi patented his first automatic loom. Soon after he would move to Tokyo to publicize his invention and commercializing it. At the beginning, it was not easy, but he added a new gadget to the machine which would make stop the machine when detecting a fault in the fabric. Despite that, Sakichi knew that he had to sell it, at first, at a low cost. As a result, this modern loom began a hand-held competition against artifacts of French and German origin.
With the sales going up, thanks to the basic principles that he imposed on his company: stop operations if there is no process with normality and never commercialize defective products or in poor condition, Sakichi closed a contract with Mitsui to export his products. Certainly, this new machine created by Toyoda generated an authentic revolution in the textile industry in Japan.
In 1907, Sakichi would found Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in the, a company dedicated to the sale of varied textiles, that quickly became the number one in the market by its more economic prices and, six years later, with the help of his son Kiichiro Toyoda, Sakichi made the construction of an automated loom, thus achieving one of his most dreamed of projects. From that moment begins the story of Toyoda (currently known as Toyota).
In 1910 Toyoda undertakes a trip, looking for the company to be installed also in the United States.
Once he returns to Tokyo, he is motivated to meet some car factories that left him perplexed. Years later, Sakichi sells the rights to the British company Pratt Brothers, in order to, reinvest the money in the work of the first Toyota vehicle. Unfortunately, when the projects were taking shape Sakichi was surprised by the death and clearly could not see his dream come true. So, his son Kiichiro to honor the memory of his father continued with the project. Years later, Kiichiro would baptize the company with the name of Toyota.
His son had inherited the entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit of his father; besides, he was very passionate about the world of motor and mechanics. In order to acquire much knowledge about this, he traveled almost 20 years to visit the most successful car factories in the world. Especially Europe and the United States were where he would acquire most of the knowledge to apply in Toyota. On the other hand, he always carried the two principles that his father had postulated, Kiichiro increased his own vision: observe, prove, make mistakes and succeed.
Kiichiro applied his methodology to a Chevrolet model 33′, which he would disassembled completely to know its operation and the pieces that composed it. Some years later, in 1936, presented the first Toyota model A1. This is the first Toyota in history, baptized the Toyota AA, contains a motor of 6 cylinders and a three-speed manual transmission with 3,389 ccs and 62 HP of power.
Later, he used the 100,000 pounds that his father had given him for the sale of the patents, to create a Toyota Type A with a power greater than 65 HP. With this new model, the company took off, and he decided to found Toyota Motor Company, in which, he would apply a production system based on the “just in time” philosophy, which basically managed to produce the quantities necessary to reduce the level of inventory and the number of errors. It was a counter model of mass production. Used in the United States. This system was important in the development of the company, which began to spread throughout the global automotive industry.
During World War II, the Japanese government urged them to produce trucks for the Imperial Army. However, the military trucks were not very successful because they were manufactured in a simple way, due to the inclement shortage in Japan of the materials by the effects of the War.
In 1948, the company experienced a serious financial crisis that led Kiichiro to abandon it.