Section 2. Automobile Prototypes

Item 6. Model AA Passenger Car and Model GA Truck Launched

The Toyoda Automatic Loom Works Model G1 truck was announced in November 1935 and sold by Hinode Motors, the first dealer, starting in December. That year, a total of 14 trucks were sold.

Initially, the Model G1 truck experienced a large number of rear axle housing failures.1 The Ford truck rear axle housing that had been sketched used flash-butt welding to join the pipe that made up a portion of the housing and the flange, and the contact surfaces of the two parts were joined entirely by welding. The welds, however, were not noticed and the housing was joined by gas welding on the exterior surfaces of the joints only. As a result, the gas welded portions were so weak that they often broke while being shipped to Nagoya. The problem was resolved by designing the pipe and flange to be joined by shrink fitting.

This was one example of a defect, and the defects were addressed one by one. With regard to the initial quality defects, Kiichiro Toyoda made the following statement. "Since this was the first domestically produced vehicle, we relied on the understanding and support of automobile industry companies, and the first vehicles that we shipped were hardly usable by today's standards. However we were fortunate to not suffer any major problems. This, of course, would not have been possible without our best efforts, but the various aid we received for our first domestic vehicle was also a large part of our success.2

The Model G1 truck and Model A1 passenger car were improved to become the Model GA truck and Model AA passenger car. An automotive assembly plant was constructed at a site about one kilometer northeast of the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works head office in May 1936 to assemble the Model GA truck and Model AA passenger car. When the automobile assembly plant was completed, the body prototype plant was converted into a stamping plant, and stamped parts were shipped to the new body plant for assembly. In addition, manufacturing processes related to engines, powertrains, and suspensions performed at the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works head office plant were collectively referred to as the 'manufacturing plant,' and the various components were shipped from there to the automobile assembly plant.

When production at the Kariya automobile assembly plant came online, an exhibition to commemorate the completion of what it called the 'Toyoda Domestically Made People's Car' was held at the Tokyo Commercial & Industrial Museum in Marunouchi, Tokyo from the 14th to 16th of September 1936, when monthly production exceeded 100 units. On display were 15 vehicles including four Model AA passenger cars, two Model AB Phaetons, and a Model GA truck, a Model DA bus chassis, a fire truck, a military truck, and a dump truck with a winch (Table 1-4).

Table 1-4. Specifications of the Vehicles Displayed at the Exhibition Commemorating the Completion of 'Toyoda Domestically Made People's Car' (September 1936)


Passenger Car
(Model AA Passenger Car)
Cargo Truck Chassis
(Model GA Truck)
Bus Chassis
(Model DA Bus)
Wheelbase
1121/4 in (2.850 m)
1411/2 in (3.594 m)
1411/2 in (3.594 m)
Front track
5611/16 in (1.440 m)
561/2 in (1.453 m)
561/2 in (1.453 m)
Rear track
571/16 in (1.450 m)
Track with dual rear wheels

711/2 in (1.817 m)
711/2 in (1.817 m)
Length
1861/2 in (4.737m)
223 in (5.660 m)
255 in (6.500 m)
Height
685/8 in (1.743 m)


Width
681/4 in (1.730 m)
803/4 in (2.05 m)
78.7 in (2.000 m)
Empty weight
3,310 lbs (1,500 kg)
4,002 lbs (1,816 kg)
3,594 lbs (1,630kg)
Cargo capacity

1.5 ton - 2.5 ton

Engine
Model A engine
Model A engine
Model A engine
Source:
Reference materials attached to the Automobile Manufacturing Industry Law License Application (July 23, 1936).

On September 14, while the exhibit was underway, Toyoda Automatic Loom Works and Nissan Motor were tentatively designated as licensed companies under the Automotive Manufacturing Industries Law.

To top of page