Toyota: 75 Years of Success & Counting

Toyota Automobiles company began its life as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in 1933 under the leadership of Kiichiro Toyoda. Its first passenger vehicle was released in 1935 and by 1940, ever devoted to innovation and development, established the Toyota Science Centre. WWII put a serious strain on the company and it was put into the service of the military, Interestingly enough, after the war, Toyota made most out of the wrecked and worn-out trucks to make recycled vehicles.

Post-War Ascension

In 1947, two years after the war had ended Toyota developed a prototype for a compact car, a segment that the American automakers had largely ignored. In 1949, Toyota released its first compact car in Japan despite the fact that the Japanese economy was still in bad shape with rising costs and runaway inflation. During this time it produced $3.5 million in vehicles but could sell only $2.5 million of its inventory. Facing huge loses, the board began thinking about dissolving the company. Luckily, after many negotiations the company decided to decrease its workforce by 2000 from a total of 8000. Under new management, the company began investing in the latest technology which led to it improving its efficiency in production immediately.

The Land Cruiser Is Born

In 1951 Toyota first introduced the now world-famous Land Cruiser model. AT the time, Toyota had returned to producing nearly 500 cars per month. Its renewed focus on quality and innovation, also helped to keep production costs incredibly low. As a result of the success of the Land Cruiser and its commitment to quality in design and processes, Toyota slowly became the automaker par excellence we know today.

Toyota Gains on GM

In 1980 Toyota went cinched the title of the second highest car producer in the world behind General Motors which it maintained for close to 30 years. In 1984 Toyota joined hands with General Motors to begin a joint venture called New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI). This enabled Toyota to start its production in the U.S. By 1991, Toyota had sold more than one million cars and trucks in the American market. It also held more than 40% of the Japanese car industry. Soon Toyota began establishing itself in new markets like Latin America and Southeast Asia. Toyota started off as a brand that specialized in economy cars but soon went on to establish a luxury car brand in 1989 called Lexus which would go on to become wildly successful, even outselling established brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and others.

A Commitment to Science & Technology

Toyota’s research center has been the back bone of their new innovations and improvements almost since the beginning. Toyota currently has production facilities in most major countries like Russia, Turkey, Thailand, France, Canada, etc. In October 1997, Toyota came up with the idea of releasing a car which combined a gas engine and electric motor that was able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by half. Soon the demand for this eco-friendly vehicle exceeded the production capacity that Toyota could perform.

In 2000 for the first time Toyota’s production exceeded 5 million units worldwide. Toyota’s bestselling car has been the Toyota Corolla which was released in 1966. As of 2013, more than 40 million Toyota Corolla’s have been sold worldwide. As of 2012, Toyota’s production output is in excess of 9,900,000 and has yearly revenues of $225 billion. In 2013 Toyota overtook General Motors in the number of sales after being in second place for a number of years. From persevering for two decades before it established itself, Toyota has come a long way to become the most respected automobile company in the world.

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