Section 5. Wartime Research and Production

Item 7. Production outside Japan

On July 15, 1936, four units of the GA truck, developed as an upgraded version of the G1 truck, were loaded at Nagoya Port onto a ship bound for Manchukuo (now northeastern China). This, the first export of a Toyota vehicle, came only eight months after Toyoda Automatic Loom Works had announced the launch of the G1 truck.

Later, in February 1937, to respond to increased demand in mainland China, a repair plant was established in Shanghai and automobile repair operations began. Following the establishment of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd., the plant was taken over by the newly formed company and became the basis for the construction of a vehicle assembly plant completed in May 1939, the Shanghai Plant, where assembly production of the Toyota GB truck was carried out. In February 1942, the Shanghai Plant became an independent entity with the establishment of Kachu Toyoda Jidosha Kogyo, a company capitalized at five million yen. The new company expanded the plant and began local production of parts.

The Tianjin Plant was established in January 1938 and began operating as an assembly and vehicle body manufacturing plant from April 22 of the same year. In addition to assembly production of the Toyota GB truck and Toyota bus chassis, the plant undertook production and repair of a range of vehicle bodies as well as sales of vehicles manufactured by other Japanese companies, foreign-made vehicles, and associated vehicle parts. Subsequently, with the aim of establishing self-sufficiency in the supply of parts, the Tianjin Plant was spun off as an independent company: following an injection of external capital, Hokushi Jidosha Kogyo was established on February 20, 1940. The company installed new casting, forging, heat treatment, and machining plants at the Tianjin Plant, and, in addition to local parts production, took on responsibility for automotive research and development tailored to conditions in mainland China. The company's head office was located in Beijing.

On May 1, 1944, at the request of the military, Hokushi Jidosha Kogyo merged with the Automotive Department of the nationalized Kahoku Transport Company1 to become the Kahoku Jidosha Kogyo. In addition to manufacture of vehicles and vehicle parts, the company's operations included vehicle maintenance and upgrading. To promote independent vehicle manufacturing operations, the company worked to strengthen the system of self-sufficiency in parts supply at the Tianjin Plant.

In 1942, to respond to increased demand for vehicle repair in southern China2, In 1942, to respond to increased demand for vehicle repair in southern China,

To top of page