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February 14, 1867 – Toyota patriarch is born

The “King of Japanese Inventors” and patriarch or Toyota was born on this day in 1867 in Kosai, Shizuoka, Japan. Sakichi Toyoda invented a variety of weaving machines, including the automatic power loom, leading him to found Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. By the late 1920s Sakichi found himself supporting his son Kiichiro’s plans to develop an automobile but was never able to see the project through to fruition as he passed away in 1930. Kiichiro would take over the family business, establishing an automotive division in 1933 and released a prototype vehicle two years later. In 1937 a Toyota Motor Corporation was formed, changing the spelling as it was thought Toyota was a luckier name than Toyoda, and it was easier to write in Japanese characters. Toyota borrowed a lot from Detroit automakers in its early years, including automotive design and manufacturing practices. Its first production model, the AA, was a near copy of a Chevrolet Sedan.   Sakichi Toyoda1936 Toyoda AA replica. The name was officially changed to Toyota in 1937. By Iwao CC2.0