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30 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Toyota

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Toyota Motor Corporation, one of the largest companies in the world, is headquartered in a 4-storey building in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. The Toyota Technical Center, a 14-story building, and the Honsha plant, Toyota's second plant engaging in mass production and formerly named the Koromo plant, are adjacent to one another in a location near the headquarters. Here are some very interesting facts about Japanese automotive manufacturer:

  1. Toyota is a multinational automotive manufacturer with its headquarters in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. It is the world’s largest automotive manufacturer and world’s market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles.
  2. As of 2016, it was the fifth largest company by revenue with growth of 7.7%, employing around 365,000 people around the world.
  3. Toyota was founded on September 01, 1933, as a division of ‘Toyoda Automatic Loom Works’ by Kiichiro Toyoda. The first A1 prototype passenger car was completed in May 1935 and by August 25 of the same year G1 Truck prototype was completed.
  4. On September 25, 1936, the name of the company was changed from ‘Toyoda’ to ‘Toyota.’ The new name was preferred for it took only eight brush strokes and visibly simpler with voiceless consonant.
  5. On August 28, 1937, Toyota Motor Co. Ltd was established with Risaburo Toyoda as president and Kiichiro Toyoda as vice president.
  6. During the World War II, the company was dedicated to trucks production for the Imperial Japanese Army. From November 1943, commencement of trucks began with military specification, like one head light in the center.
  7. In September 1947, a Toyota’s small-sized vehicle was sold under the name ‘Toyopet SA.’ The car was nicknamed for its small size. The name was dropped for American market due to connotations of toys and pets.
  8. In 1950 company faced financial difficulties resulting in closer of its three plants and persuading 1600 employees to voluntarily retire. The union responded with strike lasting two months and was resolved with pay reduction and resignation of its president at the time, Kiichiro Toyoda.
  9. In 1957, the ‘Crown’ was the first Japanese car to be exported to the U.S. The introduction of so called 25% ‘Chicken Tax’ on import of light trucks by US in 1964 to protect domestic market compelled Toyota to build its plant in US in early 1980s.
  10. In 1963, Australia was one of the first countries to assemble Toyota outside Japan. In February 2014, Toyota was the last of Australia’s major automakers to announce pulling-out due to unfavorable currency and high manufacturing cost.
  11. On July 01, 1982, Toyota Motors and Toyota Motor Sales merged to form Toyota Motor Corporation, following which the respective trade unions followed suit on September 01.
  12. The Toyota has 540 consolidated subsidiaries and 226 affiliates and is listed in New York Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange since 1999, apart from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo Exchanges.
  13. Toyota has received various prestigious awards for quality managements including the Deming Application Prize in 1965 and the Japan Quality Control Award in 1970.
  14. In 1951, the company encouraged employees in making effective contribution to the company’s development by launching ‘Creative Idea Suggestion System’ to support it.
  15. To commemorate 50th year of the company, Toyota introduced a new world wide logo in October 1989. The three ovals combine to form the letter ‘T’ for Toyota. The overlapping of ovals inside larger oval represents beneficial relationship in global economy.
  16. In December 2008, the company forecasted sagging market after years of rising profits and rapid expansion in seven decades, due to global financial crisis. In January 2009, it announced closer of all its Japanese plants for 11 days, to reduce output and stock of unsold vehicles.
  17. In 2011, the company lost production of over 290,000 units due to natural disasters. The 2011 severe flooding in Thailand and the East Japan Earthquake with resultant tsunami was the major cause. The plant was closed for more than a month.
  18. Toyota has recalled numbers of around 10 million vehicles over a period of three years starting 2009, either due to unintended acceleration, steering wheelor malfunctioning power windows switches. They have also paid $ 16.4 million civil fine in May 2010.
  19. In early November 2014, when U.S enlisted a recall involving defectinflators and propellant devices fitted with Takata airbags, Toyota offered for free repair to all affected vehicles.
  20. Toyota sponsors several sports events and teams including Olympic Games. They are the official partners of Australian and England cricket teams. On August 31, 2016, entered into long term sponsorship with the Australian Football League at least till 2019.
  21. In April 2001, Toyota embraced the ‘The Toyota Way’ an expression for its principal of ‘Respect for People’ and ‘Continues Improvement.’ The company’s management philosophy and methods are reflected in its concept ‘Lean Manufacturing’ and ‘Just In Time Production.’
  22. Toyota has introduced new technologies, including first mass-produced hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle and sold over 4 million as of 2017. It also introduced ‘Advanced Parking Guidance System.’
  23. The Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid was released in Japan in January 2012 followed by the U.S in February and from late June on Europe.
  24. A prototype of the Toyota IQ EV was exhibited at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and by September 2012, has killed plans for widespread launch of its second all-electric car, the eQ, citing the current capabilities of electric vehicle do not meet society needs.
  25. In 2002, Toyota began a development and demonstration program to test the ‘Toyota FCHV, hybrid hydrogen fuel cell’ vehicle, the’ Toyota Mirai’ was unveiled at the November 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.’ The cumulative sales by mid-February 2017 is 2, 840.
  26. The ‘Toyota Motorsport GmbH, Cologne, Germany, had been involved in many global motorsports series, including formula Nippon, Super GT, formula 3. On November 04, 2009, Toyota announced that they are pulling out of the sport due to the global economic situation.
  27. Toyota is a minority shareholder in ‘Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation’ having invested $ 67.2 million in the new venture to produce the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. It has also contracted with Scaled Composites to produce a proof of concept aircraft.
  28. With over 16% market share equal to that of General Motors, and listed second in terms of volume in USA, the Toyota USA Foundation exist to support education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It also works with nonprofits organizations, such as Food Bank For New York City.
  29. Toyota has been developing multitask robots destined for elderly care, manufacturing and entertainment. It had developed a Brain Machine Interface, designed for use with wheelchair, for person to control with mind.
  30. The Toyota manufactured a special ‘Toyota Century Royal’ a one-off US$ 500,000 custom car is the official state car of the Japanese imperial family, namely for the current Emperor of Japan.

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