The History of Toyota
Updated September 3, 2018
Toyota would get its start in 1933 by its founder Kiichirō Toyoda who was the son of Sakichi Toyoda. Sakichi Toyoda founded the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works where he would sell his design to a British company therefore helping to fund his son Kiichirō Toyoda’s automotive production business. 1935 would be the first year the company would introduce its vehicles to the general public under the model distinction A1 and G1. The A1 was based off of the chassis and electronics currently used by Ford Motor Company. None of these prototype vehicles are in existence today. With Japan’s struggling economy during 1935 Toyota was to shift into development of its first truck known as the G1. The Toyoda G1 was based loosely off of Ford and General Motors design at that time. The vehicles would be built under the family name Toyoda when it was later changed to Toyota in 1936. 1936 was also the same year the company would introduce its first passenger vehicle for production which would be the AA Standard Sedan. In 1937 the company would officially go under the name Toyota Motor Company.
By 1947 Toyota would begin building three different vehicles including the Toyota BM truck, SB small truck, and SA (Toyopet) compact passenger vehicle. Toyota would not be allowed to begin for production for passenger vehicles until 1949 therefore only limited numbers of the Toyota SA would be produced. For it would produce a total of 215 SA passenger vehicles in a five-year time period. The vehicle was built to be inexpensive and able to deal with the country’s rough road conditions at that time. 1957 Toyota would introduce to Toyopet vehicles to the United States. Later on in the year Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. would be established. During the 1970s Toyota begin importing more vehicles as U.S. sales would continually rise as result of the 1973 oil crisis and more customer demand for smaller vehicles. In 1986 Toyota would introduce the company’s first production plant in the United States.
In 1989 Toyota would introduce the luxury division Lexus for the United States market after the overall success of Honda’s luxury division Acura. In just a few years Lexus would become the best-selling luxury import for the American market and in 2005 Lexus would be introduced to the Japanese market. During the 1990s Toyota would begin producing more models of vehicles and began development on hybrid powertrains. In 1997 Toyota would begin production on its first production hybrid vehicle named Prius. In 2000 Toyota would begin manufacturing under the Sichuan Toyota Motor Co., Ltd in China. In the following year Toyota Motor Manufacturing France S.A.S. would begin production in France.
In 2002 Toyota would begin to introduce its next division under the name Scion as well as enter into the Formula One racing series. This was to be a more youth-oriented brand that offered an unorthodox purchasing process as well as contemporary styling. In 2007 Toyota would hit its highest production of vehicles at 9,497,754 units. In 2010 Toyota would employ nearly 320,000 individuals worldwide and manufacture 8,557,351 vehicles making Toyota the world’s largest auto manufacturer.
Today Toyota is diversified with several different subsidiaries including:
- Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
- Hino Motors, Ltd.
- Toyota Financial Services
- Toyota India
- Toyota Industries
- Fuji Heavy Industries – Toyota has 16.5% stake in Fuji Heavy Industries which is the parent company of Subaru.
Today but Toyota headquarters is located in Toyota city, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Toyota is diverse and as its own financial services, builds robots, is a minority shareholder in a project by Mitsubishi Aviation on the development of a regional jet to deliver in 2013. The company has also established the Toyota Technological Institute and Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago. Toyota also provides scholarships through several foundations annually and continually invests in small businesses that work in the field of biotechnology.
Toyota has established joint operations with both Panasonic and Tesla Motors in order develop more durable batteries that also contain a higher capacity of charge. The company is also working on developing ethanol from agricultural waste for foreign and domestic markets. Toyota has also introduced a flex fuel vehicle in Brazil they can run off of the countries ethanol produced from sugarcane and is working to develop a second generation bio hydrofined diesel fuel.
Categories: Production Cars