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Getting to Know the Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota is a Japanese company that is the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. It has many subsidiaries that are involved in the production of automobiles, parts, and commercial and industrial vehicles. Toyota’s headquarters are located in Toyota City, which is an industrial city east of Nagoya, Japan.

Origins of the Company

Toyoda Kiichiro founded Toyota Motor Corporation in 1933 as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. The first production car, the Model AA sedan, was released in 1936. The company’s name was changed to Toyota in 1947. Toyota then established several related companies, such as Toyoda Machine Works, Ltd. and Toyota Auto Body, Ltd. 

During World War II, the company suspended the production of passenger cars and focused on trucks. Due to its wrecked facilities and a chaotic economy after World War II, the company stopped making passenger cars until 1947, when they introduced the Model SA.

Expansion into the US Market

In the 1950s, Toyota began studying American automobile manufacturing to improve the efficiency of their own factories. As part of this process, Toyota executives toured the production facilities of various US companies, including Ford. They observed and implemented the latest production technologies, which led to a significant increase in efficiency. 

In 1957, Toyota established a US sales subsidiary, and the next year they released the Toyopet sedan. However, it was unsuccessful due to its high price and lack of power. The Land Cruiser, a utility vehicle released in 1958, fared better. In 1965, the Toyopet was redesigned for the US market and renamed Corona. This marked Toyota’s first major success in the US market.

In the 1960s and 70s, Toyota expanded rapidly and began exporting many automobiles to foreign markets. They acquired Hino Motors (1966), Nippondenso Company (1967), and Daihitsu Motor Company. Toyota became Japan’s largest automobile manufacturer and continued to thrive in the American market, known for their low-cost, fuel-efficient, and reliable vehicles such as the Corolla (1968).

Rebranding into the Toyota Motor Company

The company that is now known as Toyota was created in 1982 when Toyota Motor Company merged with Toyota Motor Sales Company, Ltd. Two years after, Toyota partnered with General Motors Corporation to create New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. This was a dual-brand manufacturing plant located in California. It was here that Toyota began production in the United States in 1986.

The company has recorded a lot of success and growth since it was founded, especially in the 21st century. Some notable accomplishments include creating the luxury brand Lexus and the world’s first mass-produced hybrid car, the Prius. In 1999, Toyota was listed on the London and New York Stock Exchanges. In recent years, Toyota has been targeting younger buyers with its Scion brand and has unveiled the world’s first luxury hybrid vehicle, the Lexus RX 400h.

Financial Challenges

The company has faced significant financial challenges in recent years, including plummeting sales during the global financial crisis of 2008 and an international safety recall of more than eight million vehicles in 2010. In 2014, millions of vehicles manufactured by Toyota and several other car companies were recalled due to potentially malfunctioning airbags produced by Japanese automotive-parts supplier Takata.

Toyota Motor Corporation Now

Toyota currently has assembly plants and distributors in numerous countries across the globe. Its subsidiaries manufacture not only automotive products but also rubber and cork materials, steel, synthetic resins, automatic looms, and cotton and woolen goods. Toyota is also involved in real estate, prefabricated housing units, and the import and export of raw materials.

The Toyota Motor Corporation is now one of the largest automakers in the world. Toyota employs over 300,000 people worldwide and has factories in over 30 countries. Toyota is also involved in motorsports and has succeeded in several racing disciplines. The company is currently the largest manufacturer of hybrid vehicles, and it is also working on developing electric vehicles. Toyota is a well-respected and successful company with a bright future ahead.

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