Section 9. Preparations for Mass Production and Mass Sales
Item 7. Establishment of the Toyota Technical Center
Establishment of the Technical Center
In November 1953, construction of the Technical Center, a new R&D facility of the Engineering Department, commenced on the east side of the Koromo Plant. At that time, the financial foundation of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. was still weak and the company had to be careful about capital investment.1 Due to these restrictions, the Technical Center was built as a two-story building with a minimal total floor area of 4,807 square meters, with a plan to eventually convert it into a three-story structure.
Because the Technical Center was completed in October 1954, the RS Toyopet Crown, whose production had commenced the preceding month, became the last vehicle model developed at the R&D facility in place since the company's founding. The Crown, which was exported to the United States in 1957, was not equipped to handle highway driving and its export was temporarily halted. However, it was redesigned at the Technical Center with the goal of resuming export to the United States. In this way, the Technical Center paved the way for Toyota's success in the United States, a country with an advanced automobile industry.
When it was completed, the Technical Center consisted of a design office, a styling office, a library, a blueprint office, a chemical testing office, a physics laboratory, and a vehicle testing office, with a configuration similar to that of the Engineering Department following the company's founding. In terms of equipment, the Center installed many cutting-edge testing systems and experiment/analysis instruments. Subsequently, the Technical Center building was remodeled into a three-story structure in October 1963.
Toyota continued to expand, enhance, and update the Engineering Department's facilities in step with technical advances. As part of these efforts, the role of the Technical Center was handed over to the new Technical Center completed in December 2003 after 50 years of existence.