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Toyota

Toyota

Japan Japan (1937 - present)
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History

In 1933, with the help of the Japanese government stimulation, Kiichiro Toyoda decided to create an automobile division from its already established company of automatic looms and electric sewing machines. Their first production automobile, the Toyota Model AA, starts in 1936 and in the following year Kiichiro finally inaugurates Toyota Motor Company as an independent company.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

© photo courtesy of: Toyota

By the time of the Pacific War, Toyota switched production to military trucks for the Japanese army. The company returned to car production at the end of the War. In 1947, Toyota began producing their first commercial passenger cars, starting with model SA. From 1957, the Japanese automaker begins exploring the American market and in 1963 the European market. Toyota begins acquiring some positive reputation for quality built with the debut of the CorollaCorollaToyota CorollaJapan, 1966 > present11 series
177 versions
108 photos
in 1966, which also sold well in the United States.

When the oil crisis of 1973 started affecting the North American economy, the Japanese builder saw its opportunity to raise production numbers in the United States. The American brands couldn’t keep up so fast with tightening emissions laws and the Japanese cars were much lighter, less pollutant and much more fuel efficient since the beginning.

By 1980 Toyota achieved 30 million cars built. In 1989 the company establishes their own luxury car brand, LexusLexusLexusJapan, 1989 > present26 models
1480 photos
6 videos
. The automaker starts adding further different models and more luxurious cars to its lineup.

Toyota also becomes the first brand to mass produce a hybrid automobile in 1997, the Toyota PriusPriusToyota PriusJapan, 1997 > present4 series
62 versions
137 photos
2 videos
, which became very successful in sales and is the most sold hybrid. Toyota sums up to 100 million cars made in 1999.

The automaker launches yet another brand of its own, ScionScionScionJapan, 2002 > present9 models
174 photos
, in 2003. In 2005, Toyota purchases 8.7% of the company that builds SubaruSubaruSubaruJapan, 1953 > present34 models
1172 photos
6 videos
cars, Fuji Heavy Industries, and in 2006 Toyota acquires 5.9% of IsuzuIsuzuIsuzuJapan, 1916 > present17 models
79 photos
1 video
. Within its own car lineup, the car builder is considered to be good at joining high quality with affordability. Perhaps that is the reason why Toyota is the second leader company in sales in the world. In its home country, Japan, almost half of the cars that are bought new are Toyotas. Besides the Asian continent, Toyota is also successful in the American, European and African continents and is even the car market leader in Australia.

 



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Logo

Until 1989, Toyota cars were badged with mere roman letters spelling “Toyota”. Thus, not until last year of the 1980’s did the car builder establish its current and renowned symbol.

Toyota needed to globalize its trademark regarding it became an international corporation and the company’s name can be spelled and read diversely around the world. So, the three-ellipse symbol as we know it today was finally drawn and registered, carrying a symbolic interpretation with it. The word “Toyota” can be read just below the draft.

The two central ellipses (or ovals) suggest the relationship of mutual trust that is established between Toyota and the customer. Perpendicularly set, they also seem to represent the “T” letter for Toyota. The outline oval, along with the space within, symbolizes Toyota’s permanent technological progress, as well as the infinite opportunities that are bound to come in the future.

 



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Motorsport

Toyota TF108

Toyota TF108

Toyota only began entering the motorsport world in the beginning of the 1970’s and ever since the brand has participated in several events, such as the Formula 1, rallying, sports car racing, IndyCar and NASCAR. The latter and Formula 1 are the only motorsport events in which Toyota is currently active. On other competitions, Toyota cars are sometimes raced but they’re from private drivers.

Toyota Motorsport was established in 1993 as the brand’s rally team and they went on to win four drivers’ champion titles at the World Rally Championship. However, the team ran illegal parts and the FIA banned Toyota from competition for 12 months in 1995. The Toyota Motorsport team returned to rally in 1996 with some success but the triumphs were never the same again. Eventually Toyota withdrew from rallying and began focusing on Formula 1.

Toyota Team Europe, based in Cologne, Germany, was established in 2002, when the brand began entering the Formula 1 competitions. They have been sponsored by Panasonic since their first season. The team became later known as Toyota F1. They haven’t been quite successful however, given that their best result so far was a 3rd place at the 2006 Australian Grand Prix. Toyota has also been an engine supplier for the WilliamsWilliamsWilliamsUnited Kingdom, 1977 > present36 models
249 photos
team since 2007, under an established partnership.

Toyota also entered the Indy Racing League in 2003 as a factory provider. Their engines allowed Gil de Ferran to win the Indianapolis 500 and Scott Dixon to take the championship title right in the first season Toyota was involved. The Japanese carmaker would, however, withdraw from the competition as soon as the 2005 season was through.



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