Toyota


The History of Toyota

   

Toyota Motor Corporation commonly known simply as Toyota, is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan. At its peak, Toyota employed approximately 320,000 people worldwide. It is the world's largest automaker by sales.
The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product, the Type A engine, and, in 1936, its first passenger car, the Toyota AA. Toyota also owns and operates Lexus and Scion brands and has a majority shareholding stake in Daihatsu and Hino Motors, and minority shareholdings in Fuji Heavy Industries, Isuzu Motors, Yamaha Motors, and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation. The company includes 522 subsidiaries.
Toyota is headquartered in Toyota City, Aichi and in Tokyo. In addition to manufacturing automobiles, Toyota provides financial services through its division Toyota Financial Services and also builds robots. Toyota Motor Corporation (including Toyota Financial Services) and Toyota Industries form the bulk of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
Toyota started in 1933 as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works devoted to the production of automobiles under the direction of the founder's son, Kiichiro Toyoda. Its first vehicles were the A1 passenger car and the G1 in 1935. Toyota Motor Co. was established as an independent company in 1937.
Vehicles were originally sold under the name "Toyoda" from the family name of the company's founder.  The name was changed to "Toyota" because it took eight brush strokes (a fortuitous number) to write in Japanese, was visually simpler and clearer sounding. Since "Toyoda" literally means "fertile rice paddies", changing the name also helped to distance the company from associations with old-fashioned farming. The newly formed word was trademarked and the company was registered in August 1937 as the "Toyota Motor Company".
By the early sixties, the US had begun placing stiff import tariffs on certain vehicles. The Chicken tax of 1964 placed a 25% tax on imported commercials vans. In response to the tariff, Toyota, Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. began building plants in the U.S. by the early eighties.
In 1982, the Toyota Motor Company and Toyota Motor Sales merged into one company, the Toyota Motor Corporation. Two years later, Toyota entered into a joint venture with GM called NUMMI, the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc, operating an automobile-manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. The factory was an old General Motors plant that had been closed for two years. Toyota then started to establish new brands at the end of the 1980s, with the launch of their luxury division Lexus in 1989.
In the 1990s, Toyota began to branch out from producing mostly compact cars by adding many larger and more luxurious vehicles to its lineup, including a full-sized pickup, the T100 (and later the Tundra); several lines of SUVs; a sport version of the Camry, known as the Camry Solara; and the Scion brand, a group of several affordable, yet sporty, automobiles targeted specifically to young adults. Toyota also began production of the world's best-selling hybrid car, the Prius, in 1997.
With a major presence in Europe, due to the success of Toyota Team Europe, the corporation decided to set up TMME, Toyota Motor Europe Marketing & Engineering, to help market vehicles in the continent. Two years later, Toyota set up a base in the United Kingdom, TMUK, as the company's cars had become very popular among British drivers. Bases in Indiana, Virginia and Tianjin were also set up. In 1999, the company decided to list itself on the New York and London Stock Exchanges.
In 2009-2010, the company was heavily in debt and had to request a loan of more than $3 billion from a bank backed by the Japanese government.

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