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No.2 To Auto parts business

The joy of having sold the first “Empire Car” was short-lived as the car was returned by the buyer after having had caused an accident with a word saying, “I cannot drive such a dangerous vehicle”,
Yanagida decided to change business style from simple car sales to limousine car business, a kind of car rental with a driver.

Having had little knowledge about car itself, he learned ABCs of the car from a man who had been running Hibiya Taxi business.
At the time of his opening business, however, luxury cars such as Cadillac had already been spread to upper-class people and the market was too small to sell cars to those who were doing limousine taxi business.
He, however, did not give up continuing business.

Although it was just a year after since business start-up, he advocated a creation of Automobile Association and played an active part in organizing it as one of the promoter and initiated to reduce car tax.

In November, 1921, he ran for Nihonbashi Parliament and became a member of Ward Assembly. A year later, he also ran for Tokyo City Parliament member and was elected as a youngest member of the Parliament at the age of 39 years old.
He worked for reduction of the car tax, pending-question, to make it realize.
An original idea for tax reduction for 1923 was 15% reduction but he succeeded to make it 30% against previous year in addition to 20% cut in Tokyo District Tax.
His tenacious hope was answered at last.

Going backward a little bit, The First World War broke up involving 36 countries in July, 1914 triggered by assassination of Crown Prince of Austria by a youth of Serbia.

Japanese trade balance made a remarkable excess of exports in 1915 under this War, affecting Yanagida’s business just started, having achieved snowball results of the taxi division of the company.

He ran his business shop at Gofukubashi, near present Tokyo Station.
Akasaka was a center of car-related business then, called a “automobile town” and therefore location of Gofukubashi was quite unique, making people very curious about limousine car.

In November, 1918 , The First World War ended, bringing reactionary recession of the ceasefire already in the year-end.
The outlook of the hire industry, having enjoyed its golden age of business, turned threatening in 1920 and 1921 and scrambled for clients among themselves.
They fought each other to get more clients by giving a rebate of the fare, giving year-end and mid- summer gifts and so forth.
This developed into “no-end” competition, for which Tokyo Automobile Association issued an ordinance of “Prohibition of an Excessive Service Conduct”.

Four stories of Yanagida building was completed at Gofuku-Cho, Nihonbashi in 1921.
It was said that people could view Ueno Park, Asakusa Park and even Shinagawa seaside from its roof.

With the construction of the new building, Empire Motor Co., Ltd. started to carve out a new era for itself.

It was 1915 when Empire Motor Co., Ltd. advanced into spare parts business for after market, the same year when Mr. Uejima who made a president later joined the company.
Having had his eyes on growing demand of spare parts, Yanagida made Uejima to be in charge of this business.
The company was selling light bulbs, other electrical parts & accessories as well as gasoline and later on spare parts for Ford cars, mechanical tools imported from USA and tires.

The number of client spread not only all part of Tokyo but also Kanto area as well as north part of Japan and even Hokkaido, making company name well-known and gaining trust from the powerful local clients through business.
In 1918, a new law was enacted aiming at promotion of domestic production of car and spare parts, giving government subsidy to manufacturers and owners of the cars suitable for military use.

Yanagida, with his firm belief that motor car would make a rapid and remarkable growth soon, resumed the sale of car and concluded a sales contract of the Ford Car with Sale Fraser in 1923.
This was the first step forward for the sale of Ford Cars.