The Japanese Automobile Evolution: History of Toyota

Toyota today is not merely a very well known brand in the automobile industry rather an awe-inspiring automotive company to be ranked in line with the top category automobile companies anywhere in the world. But a close study of the history of Toyota says that its rise to that prominence was not straight and steep. There were ups and downs in its long journey of 75 years plus. Toyota as a car producer was founded on August 28, 1937, by Kiichiro Toyota with a passenger car as Model AA. This Japanese multinational automotive industry had taken the American car companies as their role model and inspiration.

And, do you know what is amazing about them?

Before long they had succeeded in exporting cars in Europe and the very country they followed so closely – the United States. But the company has gone through several critical stages and the prominent two must not escape mention are post World War-II and 2008 global economic melt-down. This is why they had to share the proprietorship with several moneyed agencies like Japan Trustee Services Bank, Toyota Industries, The Master Trust Bank Of Japan, Nippon Life and Denso.

However, Toyota has about a total number of 364,445 Employees today. And it was among the very few companies to be listed simultaneously in the two most famous stock exchanges in the world- London Stock Exchange & New York Stock Exchange.

Toyota is the world’s market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles. This is one of the very lucky innovations by Toyota that has established them to be the 21st-century leader in the industry. In line with that, credit goes to two of their brands – Lexus the luxury brand and the Prius the hybrid-powered and mass-produced vehicles. The former appeared in the market in 1989 and later in 1997. Since their inception, they have been catching the imagination of the car owners. Not to stop here, to expand their market further they have now targeted the younger millennial. To satisfy their craze, they have launched the Scion brand in 2003. To no exception, it received the expected welcome among the target buyers.

The story or cause of their present stature as an automobile giant will remain just incomplete without the mentioning of their 2005 launching of a wonderful car. It was an updated version of the 1989 Lexus model. That was famous merely as a luxury car has now become the maiden luxury hybrid car in the world.

Though in 1934 Toyota created its first product, which was the Type A engine and in 1936, Toyota created its first passenger car “The Toyota AA”. The Toyota Logo came from the word Toyoda, which came from the family name of Kiichiro Toyoda. Today, Toyota is very famous as an automobile company but its parent organization was not automotive. It was the spinning and weaving company founded by Sakichi Toyoda – the inventor of the world’s first automatic loom. Sakichi set up the Toyoda Spinning and weaving Company in 1918 and immediately established him as the world leader in this field. He made such a powerful global impression than that a British Company bought the production and sales rights for a fabulous amount of £100,000 in 1929. This is the founding capital of Toyota Motor Company founded in 1937 by the son Toyoda – Sakichi Toyoda. But they are still an exporter of different textile-related automatic machines on a global scale. Besides automatic machines, the Toyota subsidiaries in many countries manufacture rubber & cork materials, synthetic resins, steel, automatic looms, and related goods. But the motor company is the one that they got the biggest fame in.

The inception of Toyota in place of Toyoda relates to an interesting story and has a Japanese connection. The word Toyota has 8 strokes and Toyoda has 10 strokes in Japanese, so the new name was believed to sound better, and its eight-stroke count in the Japanese language was associated with wealth and good fortune.

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Though they followed the American automotive technologies closely and translated those successfully in their favor and for their growth, they have a very different marketing policy. To get a toehold in Europe, they managed distributor or customers in the countries lacking automobile companies of their own. One such country should make mention is Denmark. And gradually, they had been able to spread their presence all over Europe even where the native car companies were globally in the leading position.

The motor company succeeded in America but not without initial stumbling down. Toyota Sedan was the first Toyota car to launch in the United States and the reception and response were poor enough to re-purpose the plan and redesign the model. The marketing plan was revised by cutting the price down and increasing the horsepower. And the result was the 1958 Land Cruiser, a 4*4 utility car that inspired an expected response from the U.S car lovers. But still they have a bigger picture in mind for the American car market and so they re-designed the Toyopet model again. The renewed and redesigned model released to the American drivers as Toyota Corona to be a hot favorite since the inception. Thus how Toyota achieved major success in America too.

Since then on, its flight remains upwards until it faced a plummeting in the sales not for any drawback from the company’s side rather it was a common global scenario in 2008- the global financial shock. And like it had faced and overcome crisis recurrently in the past, this time too the story remained the same and Toyota is running and regulation assembly plants and distribution branches in different countries.

Toyota’s journey was rapid and in the course of their rising popularity they have taken over bus and truck companies like Hino. Their march was not only frontwards rather they spread squarely. To support the claim, one can mention their deal in real estate, exporting of raw materials, and prefabricated housing units.

Toyota had achieved the tag of the largest manufacturer of automobiles and it is marketing automotive parts, commercial vehicles, and industrial machines all over the world. Toyota has its credit to manage 600 subsidiary companies ably from its Headquarters in Toyota City, Nagoya, Japan.

History of Toyota is that of persuasion and perseverance until the goal is reached.

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