Toyota didn’t quite begin as “Toyota” from the start; Toyoda
Automatic Loom Works came first. Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder’s son, traveled
to Europe and the United States to look into automobile production in 1929. He
began researching gasoline-powered engines in 1930 and when pressured by the
Japanese government to start automobile production, took the leap.
In 1933, Toyota became a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom
Works. The automaker produced its first Type A Engine in 1934, which was used
in the first Model A1 car in May 1935. And so started the legacy of the Toyota.
It wasn’t all easy, though. After World War II, Toyota no
longer had military trucks to produce and Japan was going through an economic
downfall. Toyota’s first commercial passenger car was the Toyopet Model SA in
1947, but even with this debut, the company was almost bankrupt by the end of
1949. Thankfully, a loan saved the automaker and set it back on track.
“Back on track” meant producing a miniscule 300 trucks in
June 1950 and still on the brink of going out of business. But with the resignation
of Kiichiro Toyoda, succeeded by Taizo Ishida came new success. The US ordered
5,000 vehicle from Toyota for the Korean War and as a result, revitalized the
company. Ishida was recognized for his focus on investment in equipment, which
gave Toyota an edge over Nissan in the ‘60s.
From there, Toyota began to expand with more divisions. The
Crown was the first Japanese car to be exported to the United States, and
finally, Toyota saw success. Since then, Toyota has had a huge global presence
and has received multiple honors.
Toyota has been a global sales leader for many years now,
and continued its tradition in 2015 as the largest commercial automaker in the