Q&A DeForest & Liker / Toyoda Legacy / Japan's Toyota Motor Company has released financial figures for last year that indicate it is once again the world's number one automaker, regaining the position taken for a time by the American firm, General Motors. What many people don't know is that the Toyota Company began as a manufacturer of looms, not a maker of cars. Today marks the 146th birthday of the company's founder, Sakichi Toyoda. That's Toyoda with a "d." The company's name was changed to Toyota (with a "t"), because it was easier to write in Japanese characters. Toyoda was sometimes called the "Thomas Edison of Japan" and was the founder of one of the country's largest and most innovative corporations. VOA's Dave DeForest talked with University of Michigan Engineering Professor Jeff Liker about the legacy of Sakichi Toyoda.