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1.1 Origins in Toyota Automatic Loom -19362 External links
1.2 Establishment of Toyota Motor Co. and WWII 1936-1946
1.3 Start of Commercial Production 1947-
Origins in Toyota Automatic Loom -1936
The origins of the company are found as an automobile section of Toyota Automatic Loom, implemented in September 1933. Quickly thereafter the section produced its first Type A Engine in 1934, used for the production of the first Model A1 passenger car in May 1935 and the G1 truck in August 1935. Production of the model AA passenger car started in 1936.
Establishment of Toyota Motor Co. and WWII 1936-1946
Toyota motor Co. was finally established as an independent company in 1937, yet due to the effects of World War II Toyota was producing only trucks for the imperial army until the defeat at the end of the war. Due to severe material shortage in Japan these trucks were simplified as much as possible, up to the point were they had only one headlight on the center of the hood. Luckily for Toyota, the war ended shortly before a scheduled allied bombing run on the Toyota factories in Aichi. As a note on the side, while the founding family name is Toyoda, the name was changed to Toyota because this is easier to pronounce internationally, and also the name is written in japanese katakana as トヨタ, which has exactly 8 strokes, and 8 is considered a lucky number in Japan, whereas the family name Toyoda is written in kanji as 豊田 or in katakana as トヨダ.
Start of Commercial Production 1947-
Commercial passenger car production started in 1947 with the model SA. In 1950 a separate sales company Toyota Motor Sales Co. was established. this company merged again with TMC in July 1982. In April 1956 the Toyopet dealer chain was established.
Today Toyota is one of the top car manufacturers with large market shares in both the US and Europe. It has a small car division, selling under the Daihatsu brand as well as a heavy vehicle division, selling under the Hino brand.
Toyota is Japan's biggest car company and one of the three largest in the world (The first being America's General Motors, and Germany's Volkswagen second), and is immensely profitable. Its massive cash reserves dwarf those of many countries. Toyota's vehicles are generally highly regarded for their quality, proficient engineering, and value, but their designs are viewed as anonymous and lacking the flair of smaller manufacturers. Toyota offers one of the largest ranges of vehicles of any manufacturer and does, amongst its more predictable high-volume models, produce a number of exciting sports cars, particularly, the MR2 and Supra. Toyota has factories all over the world. They build a higher volume of automobiles in the United States than Ford. Between 1997 and 2000, the #1 selling car in the U.S. was the Toyota Camry. It was dethroned in 2001 by the Honda Accord, only to regain its place in 2002, with the introduction of a totally redesigned Camry.
Toyota also contributes a great amount of research to cleaner-burning vehicles (See: Toyota Prius). In 2002, Toyota successfully road-tested a new version of the RAV4 which ran on a Hydrogen Fuel Cell.
In 2003, Toyota brought two of their popular youth-geared cars from Japan (including the bB) to America, and created a new badge, called Scion. Dictionary.com defines "Scion" as "A descendant or heir." These cars are intended to be popular among the young, and young at heart. Both models, the xA and xB are powered by a 1.5L DOHC I4 engine taken right out of the Toyota Echo, a derivative work of the Toyota Tercel.
Toyota has also been successful in racing, especially in Rally with the Toyota Celica. In 2002 Toyota started racing in Formula One with the Toyota Team Europe (TTE) and is based in Cologne (Germany).
Toyota is also famous in industry for its manufacturing philosophy, called the Toyota Production System (TPS). This system is copied worldwide by many manufacturing companies.
The Toyota Group contains the following companies, in order of founding:
- Toyoda Boshoku Co., Ltd. (founded january 1918, merged with Toyota Motor Co. November 1943, became independent again in May 1950 as Minsei Spinning Co., Ltd., changed name to Toyoda Boshoku Co. in August 1967, merged with Toyota Kako Co., Ltd. Octover 2000)
- Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd., now called Toyota Industries Co. (founded November 1926)
- Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (founded August 1937)
- Aichi Steel Works, Ltd. (founded March 1940)
- Toyoda Machine Works, Ltd. (founded May 1941)
- Kanto Auto Works, Ltd. (founded July 1942)
- Toyota Auto Body, Ltd. (founded August 1945)
- Toyoda Tsusho Kaisha, Ltd., now called Toyota Tsusho Co. (founded July 1948
- Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. (founded June 1949)
- Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. (founded July 1949)
- Nippondenso Co., Ltd., now called Denso Co. (founded December 1949)
- Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. (founded April 1950, merged with Toyota Motor Corp. July 1st 1982)
- Toyoda Spinning & Weaving Co., Ltd. (founded May 1950)
- Towa Real Estate Co., Ltd. (Founded August 1953)
- Toyota Central Research and Development Laboratories, Inc. (founded November 1960)
- Hino Motors, Ltd. (founded October 1966)
- Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. (founded November 1967)
Toyota is also a city in Aichi, Japan, named after the Toyota group including Toyota Motor Corp..