~Manufacturing from Scratch~
Construction of the Materials Testing Center
Kiichiro Toyoda placed special emphasis on material-related issues when he started to design and produce automobiles. The Japanese steel industry in Japan at that time had no capability to provide a stable supply of steel materials for automobiles. For this reason, Kiichiro decided that his company must conduct research on steel materials with a view to mass production of automobiles. He established the Materials Testing Center, fitting it with latest research equipment almost equivalent to that of Japanese imperial universities.
The Hardships of Creating an Engine Prototype
Kiichiro and his associates were confident about the casting technology they had acquired with spinning and weaving machinery. Casting is a method pouring melted metallic material into sand molds or dies to create molds. The engine’s cylimder block, the core of an automobile, has a complex shape and thin mold, witch they could not create with the know-how that they had. They struggled for 3 months, from May 1934, wasting 500 to 600 cylinder blocks, until they finally succeeded in August.
Complete Prototype Body (replica)