Toyota Motor Corp History


Toyoda Automatic Loom Works encouraged by the Japanese government established an automotive manufacturing division in 1933. The founder Sakichi Toyoda’s son, Kuchiro Toyoda had travelled to the US and Europe researching automobile manufacturer and the automotive division was started under his direction.

In 1935 the first vehicles were produced the A1 passenger car and the G1 truck.

The A1 entered production as the AA in 1936. The first cars were sold under the name Toyoda. The name was later changed to Toyota which was considered a luckier and more modern name.

During World War II the company produced military trucks for the Japanese Army.

In 1947 Toyota commenced production of the SA model car but due to shortages and postwar restrictions full production didn’t commence until 1949. At this time Toyota also introduced a light truck, the SB.

Production in the early 1950’s was boosted by orders from the American military due to the onset of the Korean War.

Toyota started exports to the US in 1957 with the Toyota Crown and a presence in Brazil followed soon after.

Thailand and Australian markets were established in the early 1960’s with Australia becoming Toyota’s largest export market in the mid 1960’s.

Exports to Europe started in 1962 starting with Finland followed by Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands. In 1968 a CKD assembly plant was established in Portugal.

In 1982 Toyota and General Motors formed a partnership and established a manufacturing plant in Fremont California USA.

The late 1980’s and 1990’s saw a large increase in Toyota’s model range including sports cars and the luxury brand Lexus.

During the 1990’s Toyota developed its presence further in Europe and the USA setting up bases in the UK and USA, in Indiana and Virginia, along with a base in Tianjin China.

In the USA, by 2007 Toyota had numerous manufacturing plants including two producing Toyota Tundra pickups, one producing Rav 4 and another producing The Toyota Prius.

In 2014 Toyota topped global sales selling 5.1 million vehicles in the six months ending June 30, 2014.