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--------------------------------------- This essay was downloaded from CheatHouse.com (c) Gradua Networks 1995-2007. More essays, papers, reports, study notes and more can always be found at: - http://www.CheatHouse.com - --------------------------------------- Development of The Japanese Motorcycle Industry The Japanese motorcycle has been an industry of dramatic growth and competition in the past fifty years. During the post war days in Japan, reliable and cheap transportation became a continual problem. The infrastructure of Japan was severely crippled during the war. Transportation channels were almost totally destroyed. Japan was, at that time, reliant on trolley cars and a rail system that had suffered large amounts of damage during the bombings on Japanese cities. The citizens of Japan need a reliable and cheap form of transportation to move products and people from place to place. The bicycle became the transportation of choice during the post war period. Japanese citizens were able to move themselves, as well as small amounts of food and supplies, short distances with great ease. The bicycle industry grew rapidly due to the limited means and limited production capabilities of the Japanese people. Many of Japans automobile companies had suffered huge losses in the war, many of their auto manufacturing plants and part manufacturing plants had been destroyed. Japan lacked the resources and capital to rebuild these industries quickly and effectively. Furthermore, the Japanese people were not in the economic position to make large purchases such as cars. These aspects of the Japanese economy and market laid the groundwork for the Japanese motorcycle. The motorcycle started out as a motorbike. Companies started by creating conversion kits to make their bicycles into motorcycles. These conversion kits offered and affordable solution to the transportation problem in Japan. Now the Japanese people could travel longer distance and carry heavier cargos. These first motorcycles had very limited capabilities; they operated as mopeds. They offered the option to relieve the rider for short periods of time so the rider could rest. They did not have the horsepower to completely operate as a motorcycle we see today. One of the first conversion kits offered a 3 horsepower engine that attached to the side of a normal pedal bicycle. It ran on a fuel mixture of gasoline and turpentine oil, due to the shortage of fuel in the Japanese economy. The motorcycle’s versatility and fuel- efficiency began to create a new transportation market in Japan. Post War Development of the Industry The Japanese motorcycle industry was entering a period of high-growth in years following the war. Over fifty small motorcycle manufacturers constantly fought for market-share in this increasingly competitive market. Of the Fifty, the big two were Honda Motor Corporation Ltd. and Tohatsu Corporation. Tohatsu lead the industry in the 1950’s maintaining 22% of the Market-share throughout the 1950’s. Honda there closest competitor maintained 20% of the Market and posed the biggest threat to the industry leader Tohatsu.
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