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The Toyota Motor Corporation, or simply called Toyota is a Japanese multinational corporation and the world's second largest automaker that manufactures automobiles, trucks, buses and robots and the world's eighth largest company by revenue. Its headquarters are in Toyota, Aichi, Japan with factories and offices around the world.
The company was founded in 1933 by Kiichiro Toyoda. Since then, Toyota has become one of the most successful and profitable Japanese companies and one of the world's most industry leading automobile corporations as producing industry's first commercially available Advanced Parking Guidance System (automatic parking), eight-speed automatic transmission, real-time traffic guidance with dynamic rerouting, and four-zone climate control with infrared technology in its Lexus division models. It's also one of few automobile corporations that extensively produced and pushed car based on the hybrid fuel technology in the market such as in the hybrid Prius, Toyota and even in the luxury Lexus division cars. Toyota consistently ranks as building some of the most reliable automobiles in the world according to surveys and analysis.
According to current predictions, it is expected to become the world's largest automaker, overtaking General Motors, by producing and selling 9.8 million vehicles in 2008 along with increasing sales. It is one of the Japanese "big three" challenging American automobile manufacturers that includes Nissan and Honda with high success.
The headquarters of Toyota is located in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Toyota also provides financial services through its subsidiary, Toyota Financial Services, and participates in other lines of business. It manufactures vehicles sold in the United States under the brand names Toyota, Scion and Lexus. Toyota also owns majority stakes in Daihatsu and Hino, and 8.7% of Fuji Heavy Industries, which manufactures Subaru vehicles. They also acquired 5.9% of Isuzu Motors Ltd. on November 7, 2006.
As of 2005, Toyota, combined with its half-owned subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Company, produced 8.54 million vehicles, about 500,000 fewer than the number produced by GM that year. In July 2006, Toyota passed Ford in selling cars, although Ford regained its lead over Toyota in the following month and lost it again due to heavy gas prices. Toyota has a large market share in the United States, Europe and Africa and is the market leader in Australia. It has significant market shares in several fast-growing Southeast Asian countries.
In the Fortune Global 500, it is the 8th largest company in the world outpacing Ford Motor Company in all listings in terms of revenue and growth and in the 2006 Forbes Global 2000 it is the 12th largest company in the world. It has been consistently gaining market share in the United States, while shrinking sales for Ford and General Motors in the United States.
Its slogan is "Moving forward" or "It's time to move forward" in the United States and various other countries in the world. In Europe their common slogan is "Today. Tomorrow. Toyota." In some countries such as Australia, the slogan is "Oh what a feeling!" which was Toyota's slogan in the US during the 1980s.
The Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in September 1933 when Toyoda Automatic Loom created a new division devoted to the production of automobiles under the direction of the founder's son, Kiichiro Toyoda. Soon thereafter, the division produced its first Type A Engine in 1934, which was used in the first Model A1 passenger car in May 1935 and the G1 truck in August 1935. Production of the Model AA passenger car started in 1936.
Although the Toyota Group is best known today for its cars, it is still in the textile business and still makes automatic looms, which are now fully computerized, and electric sewing machines which are available worldwide.
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. The war ended shortly before a scheduled Allied bombing run on the Toyota factories in Aichi.
Commercial passenger car 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. The following year, the Toyota Crown became the first Japanese car to be exported to the United States and Toyota's American and Brazilian divisions, Toyota Motor Sales Inc. and Toyota do Brazil S.A., were also established.
Toyota began to expand in the 1960s with a new research and development facility, a presence in Thailand was established, the 10 millionth model was produced, a Deming Prize and partnerships with Hino Motors and Daihatsu were also established. By the end of the decade, Toyota had established a worldwide presence, as the company had exported its 1 millionth unit.
The expansion continued throughout the 1970s. The company was awarded its first Japanese Quality Control at the start of the decade and a presence in Motorsport was established.
In 1982, the Toyota Motor Company and Toyota Motor Sales merged into one company, the Toyota Motor Corporation. Two years later, Toyota joined NUMMI, the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. Toyota then started to establish new brands at the end of the 80s, with the launch of their luxury brand Lexus in 1989.
With a major presence with Europe, due to the success of Team Toyota Europe, the corporation decided to set up TMME, Toyota Motor Europe Marketing & Engineering, to help market vehicles in the continent. Two years later, Toyota set up a base in the United Kingdom, TMUK, as the company's cars had become very popular amoung British drivers. Bases in Indiana, Virginia and Tianjin were also set up. In 1999, the company decided to list itself on the New York and London Stock Exchange.
In 2001, Toyota's Toyo Trust and Banking merged to form the UFJ, United Financials of Japan, which was accused of corruption by the government for making bad loans to the Yakuza crime syndicates. The UFJ became one of the worst money losing corporations in the world, with Toyota's chairman serving as a director. At the time, the UFJ was one of the largest shareholders of Toyota. As a result of Japan's banking crisis, the UFJ was merged again to become Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
In 2002, Toyota managed to enter a Formula One works team and establish joint ventures with French motoring companies CitroŽn and Peugeot, this was established year after Toyota started producing cars in France.
* Aygo (citycar passenger)
* Yaris (subcompact passenger)
* Soluna/Vios (subcompact passenger, S.E. Asia)
* Probox (small wagon)
* Corolla/Altis (compact passenger)
* Prius (hatchback - hybrid flagship)
* Allion (lower midsize sedan)
* Avensis (midsize passenger)
* Caldina (midsize wagon)
* Camry (midsize passenger)
* Solara (Camry based coupe)
* Progres (midsize luxury sedan)
* Mark X (midsize sporty sedan)
* Crown (large luxury sedan)
* Avalon (full-size passenger)
* Century (full-size luxury sedan)
* Matrix (CUV)
* RAV4 (small SUV)
* Highlander (crossover SUV)
* 4Runner (midsize SUV)
* Sequoia (full-size SUV)
* FJ Cruiser (compact 4x4)
* Land Cruiser (full-size 4x4)
* Sienta (small MPV)
* Wish (compact MPV)
* Ipsum (midsize MPV)
* Sienna (minivan, N. America)
* Estima/Tarago/Previa (minivan)
* Alphard (full-size MPV)
* Hilux/Tacoma (midsize pickup)
* Tundra (full-size pickup, N. America)
* Hiace (Commuter and commercial van)
* Dyna (Commercial light truck)
* Coaster (mini bus)