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Toyota Case Study

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Origins in Toyoda Automatic Loom ЎЄ1936

Replica of the Toyota Model AA, the first production model of Toyota in 1936

The story of Toyota Motor Corporation began in September 1933 when Toyoda Automatic Loom created a new division devoted to the production of automobiles. Quickly thereafter, the division produced its first Type A Engine in 1934, which in turn was used for the production of the first Model A1 passenger in May 1935 and the G1 truck in August 1935. Production of the model AA passenger started in 1936.

Although the Toyota Group is most well known today for its cars, it is still in the textile and still makes automatic looms (fully computerized, of course).

Establishment of Toyota Motor Co. and WWII 1936ЁC1946

Toyota Motor Co. was established as an independent company in 1937. Although the founding family name is Toyoda (ШNМп), the company name was changed to:

ÐŽ¤ Signify the separation of the founders' work life from life;

ÐŽ¤ Simplify the pronunciation, and

ÐŽ¤ Give the company an auspicious beginning. Toyota (ҐИҐиҐÑ--) is considered luckier than Toyoda (ШNМп) in Japan, where eight is regarded as a lucky number, and eight is the number of strokes it takes to write Toyota in Katakana.

During the Pacific War the company was dedicated to truck production for the Imperial Army. Because of severe shortages in Japan, military trucks were kept as simple as possible. For example, the trucks had only one headlight on the center of the hood.

Fortunately for Toyota, the war ended shortly before a scheduled allied bombing run on the Toyota factories in Aichi.

Start of Commercial Production 1947-

Commercial passenger production started in 1947 with the model SA. In 1950 a separate sales company Toyota Motor Sales Co. was established (which lasted until July 1982). In April 1956 the Toyopet dealer chain was established.

Today Toyota is one of the top manufacturers with large market shares in both the US and Europe. It has a small division, selling under the Daihatsu brand as well as a heavy vehicle division, selling under the Hino brand.

Toyota is Japan's biggest company and the second largest in the world (the larger being General Motors). The company is immensely profitable, and its massive reserves dwarf those of many countries. Toyota's vehicles are generally highly regarded for their quality, proficient engineering, and value; but their designs are often viewed as visually bland and lacking the flair seen in cars from certain smaller manufacturers.

Toyota offers one of the largest ranges of vehicles of any manufacturer and amongst its more predictable high-volume models produces a number of exciting sports cars: the Celica, the MR2, and the Supra, the latter which was discontinued in 1998 for export and in 2002 in Japan altogether.

Worldwide Presence

The headquarter of Toyota in Toyota City, Japan

Toyota has factories all over the world, manufacturing or assembling vehicles for local markets, including its most popular model, the Corolla. Toyota has manufacturing or assembly plants in the United States, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and France. Cars from these plants are often exported to other countries. For example, the South African-built Toyota Corolla is exported to Australia, while the Australian-built Camry is exported (in left hand drive) to countries in the Middle East. Between 1997 and 2000, the number one selling in the U.S. was the Toyota Camry. It was dethroned in 2001 by the Honda Accord, only to regain its place in 2002, with the introduction of a redesigned model.

Toyota India is one of the largest subsidiaries of Toyota. They currently produce three cars, including the Camry, Corolla, and the Sequoia (Land Cruiser Prado in other countries). Toyota also produces a range of SUVs. Indeed, one of its first export markets was exporting its Landcruiser model to Australia in the late 1950s.

Toyota also contributes a great amount of research to cleaner-burning vehicles (See: Toyota Prius). In 2002, Toyota successfully road-tested a new version of the RAV4 which ran on a Hydrogen Fuel Cell. Scientific American made the company its Leader of the Year in 2003 for commercializing an affordable hybrid car. In 2004, Toyota showed that it had made its Highlander into the world's first mass-market seven-passenger hybrid SUV.

To gain a higher share in the U.S. domestic luxury market, Toyota introduced a separate brand called Lexus in 1989, following Honda's (with its Acura division) example. The brand was introduced with two models: the ES 250, based on Toyota Camry, and the LS 400, which was released simultaneously as the Toyota Celsior in Japan. Since then, the lineup has been expanded with other models based on Japanese Toyotas, and the marque has been successful, receiving many industry awards. Now that it has become the number one selling luxury brand in the U.S., Toyota is introducing it to Japan in 2005, thus completing a cycle of sorts.

In 2003, Toyota brought two of their popular cars from Japan (including the bB) to America, and created a new badge, called Scion, meaning a descendant or heir. These cars are targeted towards the young, and young-at-heart. Both models, the xA (known in Japan as the Toyota ist) and xB (known in Japan as the Toyota bB) are powered by a 1.5L DOHC I4 engine taken right out of the Toyota Echo (known in Japan as the Toyota Platz), a derivative work of the Toyota Tercel. A third model, the Scion tC, was introduced in 2004. Instead of importing an existing model from Japan as was done with the xA and xB, the tC was designed specifically for the North American market, using a platform shared with the Avensis, a Toyota model not sold in North America.

Toyota has also been successful in racing, especially in Rally with the Toyota Celica



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