Hashimoto Forms the Roots of Nissan Motor Company (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: Nissan, one of the oldest Japanese automobile companies, had its roots in a company formed in 1911 and became one of Japan’s and the world’s leading automobile manufacturers.
Summary of Event
Before World War II, the Japanese automobile industry was quite small. Most of the country’s few cars had been produced from kits sent from the United States and the United Kingdom. A handful of Japanese companies in the early twentieth century had attempted to produce low-priced vehicles, but these were far outnumbered by the rickshaws and carts that were the main means of transportation. In 1924, for example, when American companies produced 3.1 million cars and U.S automobile registrations totaled almost 18 million, Japanese passenger car registrations came to 17,939, while there were 105,000 registered rickshaws, 3.7 million bicycles, and 374,200 ox- and horse-drawn wagons. In those years, military contracts for trucks accounted for most motorized vehicle sales.
Masujiro Hashimoto was one of the handful of mechanics who attempted to enter the automotive manufacturing field. He traveled to the United States in 1902 to study the manufacture of internal combustion engines and returned home in 1911 to found the Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works. His new company manufactured a twelvehorse power engine that powered a small passenger car. For the car’s name, he used “DAT,” the first letters of the...
(The entire section is 2221 words.)
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