Toyota dealers launched

On August 9, 1935, the Cabinet adopted an order on the Establishment of the Automobile Industry.1 The order established a licensing system for the automotive industry and limited eligible licensees to corporations of which a majority of the shares were owned by Japanese citizens. As a result, Ford-Japan and GM-Japan found it difficult to continue business. The preamble of the order stated, "Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. have large-scale plans to manufacture economy cars and are proceeding with those plans," making it highly likely that Nissan Motor and Toyoda Automatic Loom Works would be licensed.

It was under these circumstances that Shotaro Kamiya of GM-Japan wished to work for a domestic manufacturer and made a request to Director Tojiro Okamoto of Toyoda Boshoku-an acquaintance from his time at Mitsui & Co.'s Seattle Office and a fellow graduate from Nagoya Commercial High School-to approach Toyoda Automatic Loom Works on his behalf. Kamiya met with Managing Director Kiichiro, and a decision was made for him to join the company.

Kamiya began working for Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in October 1935 along with Shikanosuke Hanasaki and Seishi Kato, also former GM-Japan employees. The Sales Division was immediately set up and they began working on developing a sales organization for Toyota vehicles.

Kamiya was entrusted with the entire task of establishing automobile sales systems by Kiichiro and adopted a system based on GM-Japan's sales organization that set each prefecture as a unit and established dealers without any capital participation from the automaker. GM-Japan gave its tacit approval for Chevrolet dealers to switch their affiliation to domestic automakers, and as a result, Toyota's sales organization was made up largely of GM dealers and in particular Chevrolet dealers.

On December 8, 1935, Hinode Motors2 held an event announcing the Model G1 truck as a "domestically-produced Toyoda vehicle" and began selling the truck with the body at a price of 3,200 yen for Nagoya delivery. Hinode Motors relinquished its sales rights concerning GM vehicles in November of that year and switched to selling Toyoda Automatic Loom Works vehicles, becoming the first Toyota dealer.

Tokyo Toyoda Motor Sales Co., Ltd.3 was established in December 1935 as the second Toyota dealer. The company opened its dealership and unveiled the DA bus chassis at the Mitsugashiwa Building in Yurakucho, the site at its headquarters, on January 19, 1936.

Later, a number of dealers were established including Kokusan Motors Co., Ltd.4 in Matsusaka City, Mie Prefecture in January 1936, Osaka Toyoda Motor Sales Co., Ltd.5 in March, Hiroshima Toyoda Sales Co., Ltd. in August, and Gifu Toyoda Motor Sales Co., Ltd. and Shizuoka Toyoda Sales Co., Ltd. in September. Over the course of about one year, seven Toyota dealers were launched.

In October 1936, the company name was changed from "Toyoda" to "Toyota" in conjunction with the adoption of the Toyota logo.

To top of page