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Toyota Motor Co.

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(Redirected from Toyota Motor Company)
Companies > Manufacturers

Toyota Motor Corporation is a subsidiary of the Toyota Group and the world’s second largest manufacturer of passenger cars. Toyota owns three other popular car brands: Lexus, Scion, and Land Cruiser.

Originally based out of Japan, Toyota is now a global company with operations all over the world. This is reflected in the fact that Toyota is publically traded on the Tokyo, London, and New York Stock Exchanges.


[edit] History

[edit] Early Days

The Toyota Group was established in 1926 as a loom manufacturer in the textiles industry. In 1933, Toyota added an automotive division, with Kiichiro Toyoda, Sakichi Toyoda's son, being placed in charge. In 1935, the first Toyota automobile engine was produced. The following year, Toyota’s first car, the Model A1, and first truck, the Model G1, were produced. These early Toyota vehicles were nearly duplicates of Chevrolet vehicles of the time. They copied the design of Chevrolet’s overhead 6 cylinder engine, gearbox, and chassis. In World War 2, allied forces that captured Toyota’s vehicles were able to repair them using Chevrolet parts.[1]

In 1937, the Toyota Motor Company was established as a subsidiary of Toyota’s Loom Business.[2]

[edit] World War 2 and Recovery

During World War 2, Toyota shifted its focus away from passenger vehicles, and towards producing trucks for military applications. They emerged from the war as a third rate manufacturer with 3000 employees but no manufacturing facilities[3]. In 1945, the Japanese were given permission to resume peace time operations from the American Government.[4]  Under the leadership of General MacAurthur, Japan’s economy was rebuilt after WW2 with an emphasis placed on improved conditions for workers. Strong Japanese trade unions were formed.[5]

In 1949, the Japanese government tightened the money supply in an effort to ward off hyperinflation. This resulted in a lack of credit available for Japanese businesses. In April of 1949, Toyota was unable to meet payroll, and their employees went on strike. The job action lasted for fifteen months and only ended when Toyota agreed to concessions to improve worker conditions. This resulted in the resignation of Kiichiro Toyoda and all his executive staff. Toyota’s total workforce was reduced from 8000 to 6000. Toyota has never had another strike since.[6]

In 1947, Toyota produced their first low-priced car targeted towards consumers, called the Toyopet.[7] Although the initial model was unpopular, selling only 215 vehicles in the first five years, they eventually gained popularity such that during 1955 Toyota produced 8,400 cars. In 1950, the first Toyota truck belonging to the Land Cruiser brand was sold.[8]

[edit] Foreign Expansion

In 1959, Toyota opened a manufacturing plant in Brazil.[9] These were Toyota’s first manufacturing facilities located outside of Japan. Since then, as part of Toyota’s lean thinking mentality, part of Toyota’s global strategy has been to establish localized manufacturing facilities around the world. Toyota Motor Corp. now has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Poland, Turkey, Russia, China, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Australia.[10]

In 1957, Toyota expanded into the United States by establishing a headquarters in Hollywood, California. They offered two vehicles for the 1958 year, the Toyopet and the Land Cruiser. Neither vehicle caught on with American consumers so sales were low. The Toyopet was discontinued in 1961.[11]

The first Toyota pickup truck sold in the United States was a Land Cruiser model sold in 1963. The following year, Toyota released a half-ton truck called the Stout. In 1969, the Stout was replaced the Hi-Lux truck, which would become known as the Toyota Truck. In 1995, the Toyota truck was redesigned and renamed the Toyota Tacoma.[12]

The first Toyota vehicle designed for the American consumer was released in 1964, the Toyota Tiara. The Tiara was more comfortable and powerful than preceding Toyota cars, featuring a 90hp engine capable of 90mph. The following year, in the 1965, Toyota came out with the Toyota Corona. The Corona offered an automatic transmission and air conditioning as standard features, which was very uncharacteristic among low priced cars at the time. In 1967, the first luxury Toyota vehicle, the Crown, was released in the United States. The same year, the first Toyota Corolla was released in Japan. Two years later, in 1969, Toyota brought the Corolla to the American market.[13] The Corolla is now the best selling car of all time, with more than 35 million units sold worldwide.[14]

Toyota’s new product offerings in the 60’s were popular with consumers and sales numbers rose drastically. From producing 8,400 cars in 1964, Toyota produced 71,000 in 1968, and an astonishing 300,000 in 1971.[15]

[edit] Eiji’s Era

Eiji Toyoda, Kiichiro’s cousin, became Toyota Motor Company’s president in 1967; the first Toyoda family member to lead Toyota since Kiichiro’s resignation in 1950. Eiji is best known for the development of Toyota’s renowned lean thinking strategy. With lean thinking, Toyota looked to save money by minimizing the amount of stockpiled inventory, minimizing mistakes, and cutting the amount of labour that goes into each car. Lean thinking has since been implemented for hundreds of Japanese manufacturers.[16]

In 1967, Daihatsu, another Japanese automobile manufacturer, joined the Toyota Group. Toyota Motor Corp. aided Daihatsu’s business by providing capital and by transferring some of Toyota’s executives to positions of power at Daihatsu. Toyota enlisted Daihatsu to manufacturer some of Toyota’s vehicles.[17]

In 1973, the OAPEC oil crisis hit, which increased the price of oil from $10 per barrel in 1971 to $50 per barrel in 1973[18]. This lead to increased demand for Toyota vehicles, which were smaller and more fuel efficient than those of Toyota's American competition.[19]

In 1983, the first Toyota Camry was manufactured.[20] In 1997, the Camry became the nation’s best selling car, a title it would retain for nine of the next ten years.[21]

In 1985, Toyota began to develop a luxury brand to become Lexus. Toyota conducted four years of research and development, before releasing the first Lexus vehicle in 1989. This extensive research proved worthwhile, as Lexus cars were well received, becoming the No. 1 luxury import in the United States in 1991; out-selling both Mercedes-Benz and BMW.[22]

In 1994, at the age of 81, Eiji Toyoda retired and stepped down from his role as Toyota’s chairman.[23]

[edit] Recent History

In 1997, Toyota became the first major car manufacturer to offer consumers a hybrid alternative when the Toyota Prius went on sale in Japan; two years before Toyota’s competitors released their own hybrid models. In 2000, the Prius was released in the United States.[24] The Prius is the best selling hybrid car of all-time; with 1.4 million units sold as of August 2009. In 2005, Toyota released the hybrid Highland SUV, and the hybrid Toyota Camry in 2006.[25]  Toyota has sold over 2 million hybrid vehicles all told.[26]

In 1998, Toyota released the Toyota Tundra, their first full-sized pickup offering.[27]

In 2003, Toyota introduced their third brand, Scion, which offers unconventionally designed vehicles targeted towards young adults.[28]

[edit] Current Situation

In 2009, Akio Toyoda became president of Toyota. Akio became the first member of the Toyoda family to lead the company since Eiji retired in 1994.[29]

Toyota is now the world’s second largest automobile manufacturer, surpassing General Motors for the first time in 2008 to take the #1 spot[30], and being surpassed by Volkswagen in 2009 to slip into #2[31]. In 2008, Toyota sold 8.97 million cars.[32]

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  2. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  3. Toyota Survives War and Aftermath. Strategos Inc. [November 20, 2009].
  4. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  5. Toyota Survives War and Aftermath. Strategos Inc. [November 20, 2009].
  6. Toyota Survives War and Aftermath. Strategos Inc. [November 20, 2009].
  7. Toyota Survives War and Aftermath. Strategos Inc. [November 20, 2009].
  8. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  9. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  10. Worldwide Operations. [November 10, 2009].
  11. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  12. The Toyota Hi-Lux, Compact Pickup, and Tacoma. [November 10, 2009].
  13. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  14. Top 10 Best Selling Cars of the World. [November 11, 2009].
  15. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  16. EIJI TOYODA Biography. [November 11, 2009].
  17. Shimokawa, Koichi. The Japanese Automobile Industry: A Business History. The Athlone Press: 1994.
  18. File:Oil Prices 1861 2007.svg. Wikipedia [November 10, 2009].
  19. Leaner, greener Toyota powers up, fuels down. Georgia Straight [November 10, 2009].
  20. U.S. History > 2000s. [November 10, 2009].
  21. Autos: 2008 winners and losers. [November 10, 2008].
  22. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  23. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  24. U.S. History > 2000s. [November 10, 2009].
  25. U.S. History > 2000s. [November 10, 2009].
  26. Worldwide Sales of TMC Hybrids Top 2 Million Units. [November 10, 2009].
  27. U.S. History > 2000s. [November 10, 2009].
  28. U.S. History > 2000s. [November 10, 2009].
  29. Toyota history: corporate and automotive. [November 10, 2009].
  30. Toyota tops GM as world's top auto seller. CBC News [November 10, 2009].
  31. VW Moves Past Toyota And GM To Claim Largest Global Automaker Spot - Is It 2018 Already?. [November 10, 2009].
  32. Toyota Ahead of G.M. in 2008 Sales. NY Times [November 10, 2009].

[edit] External Links