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Toyota is beyond controversy one of the most recognizable brands worldwide. Nowadays automobiles from this manufacturer are present in all continents and nearly in all existing countries. For about 80-years history the company has succeeded as in passenger, so in heavy vehicles market, foretelling a bright future for innovative driving solutions. What kind of aces in the hole does Toyota have in store? Let’s take a rapid glance at the most outstanding milestones and achievements.

Insider Tips

Did you know that Toyota:

- is a multinational corporation with more than 300.000 employees worldwide?

- was named the 12th largest company in the world by revenue in 2014?

- is the largest Japanese company by market capitalization, as of 2014?

- was named the largest automaker by production in 2012, ahead of GM and Volkswagen Group?

- was named the first automaker in terms of sales in 2008?

- is the world’s first producer to release more than 10 million units per year?

- was ranked the 8th by Forbes in 2005 as the world’s leading brand?

- produces cars under 5 brands, including Toyota (what a surprise!), Scion, Hino, Ranz, and Lexus?

- runs factories on manufacturing or assembling of vehicles in most parts of the world?

- holds stakes in a range of auto companies, including Daihatsu (51.2% share), Fuji Heavy Industries (16.66%), Isuzu (5.9%), Tesla (0.27%)?

- takes commitments in ensuring ‘zero casualties from traffic accidents’ to fulfill the crucial goal of the mobile society – safe driving?

- implements the ‘Integrated Safety Management Concept’ (an individual safety technology) into each vehicle?

- sticks to the core Toyota Production System principles of jidoka and just-in-time concepts; the first one presupposes the stoppage of the equipment once the problem occurs, while the second one ensures that each process could interact with the next process in a continuous flow?

Business Milestones

Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. Earlier, in 1934 the company created the Type A engine and a year later – the two vehicles (A1 and G1). In 1936 the division introduced the first passenger unit, called Toyota AA.

During the 1940s-1950s the automaker has focused on the production of small-sized vehicles under Toyopet brand (Toyopet SA, light trucks SB and Stout, Crown, Master, Corona). After the expansion to the US market with Crown vehicles, the brand had to be dropped due to ambiguity concerns.

To continue, soon after the introduction by the US government of a tough tax on imported light tracks (law of 1964), Toyota, in cooperation with Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., has decided to build facilities within the country with the purpose to avoid taxes. In 1984 the Japanese automaker entered into a joint-venture agreement with General Motors (the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc.). GM’s factory in Fremont, California, was an ideal ground for Toyota to develop its line of luxury cars under Lexus brand.

In the 1990s, the company emphasized its work on the design of compact automobiles, including pickups (i.e. Tundra), SUVs, sports cars (i.e. Camry Solara), and cars oriented on younger adults customers (units under Scion brand). In early 2000s, Toyota was blessed to enter F1 works team and establish joint ventures with Peugeot and Citroen (French automakers). The further development was marked by the development of innovative solutions, based on electric & hybrid technologies.

Nonetheless, a successful history of Toyota auto production has been stained by a few recall campaigns within 2009-2014 period, triggered by some technical malfunctions.

Vehicle Lineup

Currently, Toyota’s lineup boasts more than 70 vehicle models for all occasions, including coupes, sedans, trucks, vans, crossovers, and hybrids. Still, the company has been focusing on the development of other types of vehicles, based on innovative technologies, for more than a decade already.

Hence, its present source of pride is a lineup of:

- fully electrical vehicles: iQ EV, RAV4 EV;

- hybrid electrical vehicles: Prius (v, c,, Camry Hybrid, Lexus Hybrid Drive, Highlander Hybrid, Avalon Hybrid, Yaris Hybrid, Auris Hybrid, Estima Hybrid, Harrier, Crown Hybrid as well as Lexus models ES 300h, LS 600h, GX 450h, RX400h, HS 250h;

- fuel-cell cars: FCHV and prototypes FCHV-1, FCHV-2, FCHV-3, FCHV-4;

- plug-in hybrid cars: Prius and coming-soon models.

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