The Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese automaker that was founded in 1937. It is the largest automobile manufacturer in Japan and in the top three worldwide by volume. In addition to its main Toyota brand, it also sells vehicles with the Lexus and Scion marques and owns both Daihatsu and Hino Motors. Although it is part of the massive Toyota Group, Toyota Motor Corporation is a publicly traded company, with the largest shareholders being a number of banks and Toyota Industries Corporation.

The "three ovals" Toyota logo has been in use since 1989.

The “three ovals” Toyota logo has been in use since 1989.


History of the Toyota Motor Corporation

The history of the Toyota Motor Corporation begins with the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, which was founded by Sakichi Toyoda in 1926. Toyoda invented and developed a number of power looms, including the Type G Toyoda Automatic Loom in 1924, which is considered to have been a landmark achievement in the worldwide textile industry.

In 1933, Sakichi Toyoda’s eldest son established an automotive division within his father’s company. The company had been encouraged by the government to pursue this line of business, and Toyoda had shipped its first passenger cars and trucks by 1935.

The name of the division was changed to the Toyota Motor Company in 1937. This was the result of the Japanese characters for “ta” and “da” being the same, aside from the fact that “da” includes an additional diacritic.

During World War II, Japanese automakers like Toyota were forced to cease production of civilian vehicles. Toyota’s factories were used to produce trucks for the Japanese army, and its factories in Aichi narrowly escaped destruction when the war ended prior to a planned Allied bombing run.

Toyota started civilian automobile production again in 1947, but it was plagued by financial difficulties over the next several years. This culminated in the resignation of Kiichiro Toyoda, who had founded the division two decades earlier. Taizo Ishida, then-CEO of Toyota Motor’s parent company, would take over and see the company through greatly increased sales as the Korean War began.

During the 1960s, Toyota started to expand overseas. It was during this period that partnerships were first established with Daihatsu and Hino Motors, in which Toyota would later purchase controlling interests. Toyota also built its first vehicle outside of Japan during this period, when it established operations in Australia.

Toyota also has a long history of operations in North America and the United States. The first Toyota vehicles to arrive in North America were a handful of Land Cruisers that were shipped to El Salvador in the 1950s, and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc was established in 1957. Today, Toyota operates six major production facilities in the United States along with a handful of joint ventures.

Vital Toyota Motor Corporation Statistics

Founded: 1937
Current headquarters: Aichi, Japan
Yearly production: 9,909,440 vehicles (2012)
Subsidiaries: Hino Motors, Daihatsu, Denso

Toyota Motor Corporation Contact Information

North America

Phone: 800-331-4331

Mailing Address
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
19001 South Western Ave.
Dept. WC11
Torrance, CA

JD Laukkonen

JD Laukkonen turned wrenches in the north end of Seattle for a decade, so he's no stranger to the inner workings of modern automobiles. He has worked as a freelance writer since closing his shop in 2007, and he currently covers automotive technology for

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