Table of contents:
- The beginning of the history of the Japanese corporation - 1933
- World War II crisis and recovery from this stage
- Features of production and original control schemes
- Successful attempts to create new cars - 1955-1960
- Brand Popularity and the Creation of Legendary Cars - 1962-1970
- Further development of the company 1970-1990
- Worldwide recognition and new models - 1990s
2023 Author: Charles Youmans | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-20 18:41
The huge automobile corporation Toyota Motor Corporation is located in the city of Toyota in Japan. The company's efforts are aimed at creating cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, as well as buses. In addition, it ensures the production and supply of all components for its own equipment. At the moment, it is the largest car manufacturer in the world.
The beginning of the history of the Japanese corporation - 1933
In 1933, a factory for the production of sewing and weaving machines was organized, which was named Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. It is this event that is considered the main starting point when the history of Toyota began. The talented engineer and inventor Sakachi Toyoda stood at the origins. It is he who is credited with the achievements in creating an automatic loom. In addition, the inventor does not stop there, constantly improving his inventions. Already at that time he managed to achieve recognition throughout the world. His inventions were of interest to the management of the largest textile manufacturer - Platt Brother & Co (Britain). Eventually, Sakachi agrees to sell the patent rights to the machine. He sends his son Kiichiro to complete the deal.
From childhood, Kiichiro Tayoda was fascinated by his father's craft, but cars remained another passion for him. After he visited England, his thoughts were completely occupied by machines, so all the proceeds - £ 100,000 - are sent to organize a new division of the company. This is how the Toyota Motor Corporation appears.
At the same time, the government is actively supporting the nascent company. Of course, politicians also pursue their own goals. At this time, the army needed trucks and military vehicles, so the organization of personal production was very useful. During these years, the war continues in Manchuria, which deals a serious blow to the economy. The new production made it possible to organize new jobs, reduce the cost of purchasing equipment, and also strengthen the country's independence.
In 1936, the first batch of cars comes out. At this time, the government passes a law according to which the shares of the company can only belong to residents of the country. In addition, they almost completely prohibit the import of cars.
Kiichiro Toyoda is developing the motor. He experiments with two-cylinder units. However, they could hardly be called suitable for serial production. In this regard, the designer almost completely copies the Chevrolet engine, and also adopted the design of the chassis and box. The first Toyota engine was introduced in 1934. We are talking about Type A. The first car created was the G1 truck (1935), the second - Model AA was produced a year later.
The assembly took place at the Koromo plant, where production facilities were specially built. The first car of this brand received a 3,389 cc engine. see and drum brake systems for each wheel. The body of the sedan was based on metal, while most of the models presented at the time had wooden body elements. There is also a flat windshield with wipers and a spare wheel. For seven years of production, starting in 1936, it was possible to produce 1,404 AA sedans.
World War II crisis and recovery from this stage
The Second World War also affected the Japanese economy. During these years, Toyota almost completely abandons the production of passenger cars, in favor of military trucks, amphibians, light reconnaissance all-terrain vehicles, and components for combat aircraft. However, the capacity was not enough to ensure a high-quality assembly of equipment, so a simplified form of assembly was often used, where some elements were often reduced, for example, trucks had only one headlight.
The surrender was a turning point in history. Despite the preservation of the main production facilities, the government imposes a ban on the production of new vehicles. At this time, the position of the plant remains unenviable. The veto persists until 1945, when Toyota obtains US permission to produce consumer goods. The plant begins to work on the production of pots and tools.
Despite all the troubles, Kiichiro Toyoda is not going to give up the subject of his passion and immediately after the end of the war he again takes up the creation of a new car. Of course, it was almost impossible for the average Japanese to buy a Toyota with outstanding performance, so the company produces an economical and small model of the SA sedan with two doors. A liter engine with 27 horsepower is installed under the hood. It gets the name Toyopet, and the design can be compared to the VW Beetle, popular at the time. The top speed is 88 km / h, but despite this, the model failed to gain recognition.
Popularity came to Toyota Motor Corporation only with the release of the more successful SD and SF models. In 1955, the number of cars produced was only 8,400 per year, and 10 years later, the production produced up to 600,000 copies in the same period. In addition, the company embarked on a course for the production of civilian trucks. The first copy was developed on the basis of jeeps and was named Land Cruiser. As a result, the first generation was capable of carrying up to 1,000 kilograms. Toyota Cruiser became the first passenger car with four-wheel drive with a six-cylinder engine. The predecessors were equipped with a 4-cylinder. In 1953, the manufacturer succeeded in producing 298 off-road vehicles for the Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture and completing the police garage. Two years later, a second modification appears.
Features of production and original control schemes
In the 1950s, the company came to grips with the development of new principles of production. This is what allowed Toyota to become the manufacturer of some of the highest quality vehicles in the world. The control scheme was named Just-in-time. It allowed you to save on costs and warehouses. Thus, the production was fine-tuned and optimized as much as possible.
The experience of textile production was adopted. The adaptation of one of the methods served as a striking example of this. If a broken thread was found, the automatic machines would immediately stop. The same principle has been carried over to car assembly. So, each employee was responsible for his area and monitored the quality of products. If he found some kind of defect, he immediately had to pull on a special cord that stopped the conveyor. Thus, defects were detected at an early stage, and low-quality items did not reach consumers.
Another striking innovation is the system of incentives for initiative and rationalization proposals of employees. Thus, everyone could make their own proposals for work, which was encouraged by monetary rewards. Thus, production efficiency increased and control methods improved.
Successful attempts to create new cars - 1955-1960
1955 is the birth date of the Toyota Crown. The luxury car received a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter engine. Two years later, the manufacturer manages to arrange deliveries to the United States. In addition to the sedan, the Land Cruiser BJ is also sent to the States. By 1959, Toyota was expanding its influence, opening the first plant outside its native country - in Brazil. Since that time, the company has kept the tradition of localizing production and design development.
Despite the desire to conquer America, the Japanese company did not go as smoothly as the management expected. In the first year, they managed to sell 288 Toyota vehicles. Photos of these cars are kept in the museum of the same name. Japanese cars lacked dynamics, prestige and design features to compete with local competitors on an equal footing. A great contribution to the implementation principles was made by Chatoro Kamai, who proposed a new strategy, where the focus is on the potential buyer, and not on the car.
At this time, the desires of the Americans were focused on powerful cars with the most gluttonous engines. However, neat small cars have already begun to appear periodically on the streets of large cities. One of the representatives of the new generation was the Toyota Corona, which was officially presented in May 1957. It was based on a 33-horsepower engine. It was distinguished by reliability, economy and low cost. Thus, he became one of the most popular during the "boom in the birth rate". Toyota introduced a facelift a year later that reshaped the hood and door handles. One of the striking innovations was the appearance of elements of the rear end, bringing the "Japanese" closer to the Ford '49.
Brand Popularity and the Creation of Legendary Cars - 1962-1970
1962 becomes a landmark year for the company. It was then that the millionth car was produced. Ten years later, Toyota will celebrate 10 million units. By the end of the 60s, the Toyota Corolla became the best-selling model in the world. This achievement even falls into the Guinness Book of Records. Moreover, in December 2000, 25 million were sold, and by 2006 already 32 million. The model of that time received the only type of drive - rear. Toyota offers a longitudinal engine layout. Only in 1984 does a model with front-wheel drive appear. The first generation became the property of the local market only. Later, the car managed to conquer the whole world with the rounded lines of the second generation body, when the model was divided into two separate lines - Sprinter and Corolla. The difference was not big, mainly in the interior decoration. As a result, the company released 11 generations of the "legend".
In 1967, the company tries its hand at creating sports cars. So, the 2000 GT is born. It is a coupe that was developed in conjunction with the production of Yamaha. Thus, Toyota has proven that it is capable of producing not only small cars, but also high-profile sports cars. The first model accelerated to "hundreds" in 8, 4 seconds and reached 220 km / h top speed. The two-liter engine produced 150 hp, but the desired effect did not follow. What ruined the Toyota sports model was the price that was prohibitive. As a result, only 351 units were sold. A year later, in 1968, a pickup truck appears - Toyota Hilux, on the basis of which Toyota Fortuner will be released almost half a century later.
Further development of the company 1970-1990
In 1970, the expansion of production boundaries continues. In many countries, their own factories are being built, which produce both expensive and affordable models. Technical innovations are gradually being introduced into all models. This year Toyota Karina, Toyota Celica, Toyota Mark II are entering the market. At this time, another financial crisis occurs. At this point, the company's engineers are focusing on improving the efficiency of the exhaust system, working to reduce the amount of harmful emissions and making changes in internal policies. As a result, in 1978 the first Japanese car entered the market, where the leading role is played by a single axle - the front one. Toyota is entering the next decade with a lot of groundwork.
In 1982, the two companies merged, which received the common name Toyota Motor Corp. The first car after the merger was the Toyota Camry. By this time, the manufacturer is already listed as the largest in Japan and the third in terms of sales in the world. In 1983, the corporation signed an agreement with General Motors and a year later began to produce its own cars at the facilities of an American plant. At this time, the construction of its own test site begins. By the end of the 80s, Korsa, Corolla 2, 4Runner hit the market. In the 80s, one of Toyota's divisions also appears - Lexus, on the basis of which they plan to produce high-class cars. Prior to this, the Japanese car industry was a symbol of inexpensive cars. By 1989, the Lexus LS400 and ES250 are released. In 1987, the first generation of the mid-size frame SUV Toyota Prado appears on the market, which remains relevant today.
Worldwide recognition and new models - 1990s
In the early 90s, the company actively sets up "networks" of dealer and service stations, opens branches in different countries and creates interesting collaborations. The Japanese company was one of the first to talk about the environmental impact of cars. In 1992, the Earth Charter was launched. Subsequently, it will have a huge impact on the further development of the business. In the same year, a five-door version of the Crown appears - Toyota Kaldina. In 1997, the Toyota Prius with a hybrid engine entered the market. In addition to this model, a hybrid is received by Toyota Rav 4 and Coaster. Two years later, at the end of the century, the compact hatchback Toyota Yaris appears.
Worldwide sales continue to grow. In 1995, the production of new generation engines with variable valve timing began, and a year later, the production of a four-stroke engine with direct fuel injection began. In 1997, Raum enters the market, and the next year, Toyota Avensis. The development of the company is very logical, on the basis of version K. A new Toyota Highlander crossover was built in 2000, and by 2002 a minivan Toyota Alphard, named after a bright star, was prepared. It will only arrive in Russia by the end of 2011, but fans of the company will immediately pay attention to it. In 2003, the continuation of the Corolla family appears - Toyota Fielder.
At the moment, the company represents one of the largest enterprises producing more than 5.5 million vehicles in one year. Thus, it turns out that in the world every 6 seconds one car of this brand is sold. Fans name several reasons for their love for Toyota - diesel or gasoline, small displacement or chic, cross-country ability or adaptability to the city - those criteria that can vary depending on their own desires, but there is still a suitable car in the assortment. The group of companies has many additional divisions, and some models have already become legends. At the moment, in addition to large SUVs, the assortment is represented by interesting models, such as Toyota Auris, Toyota Vitz, Toyota Corolla, etc.