More About Toyota
Founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda, the manufacturing of automobiles started from his father’s company Toyota industries. The first prototype was unveiled as the A1 in 1935, which was made into production as the first passenger car in 1936 named Toyota AA. Toyota manufactures vehicles under four other brands, Hino, Lexus, Ranz, and Daihatsu. The company also holds shares in Subaru corporation, Isuzu until 2018, Mazda, two joint ventures in China-based companies, one in India and the Czech Republic each.
In the 40s, a new passenger car and a pickup were also launched, with the decade-end production of more than 100,000 vehicles. New small cars came out and the company grew bigger in the 50s. By the end of the decade, Toyota commenced exports to the U.S. The first Toyota sold in America was the Crown, which was the first Japanese car to be sold in America. The 60s witnessed the launch of the Corolla, which is one of the most popular cars manufactured by Toyota and is still in production today. As declared by Toyota, the annual domestic sales of 1 million units.
Priced on the higher side as compared to other competitors, Toyota’s superb record for durability justifies every other aspect. Their vehicles have respect for lasting a lifetime. The 70s oil crisis made Toyotas fuel-efficient cars even more popular. The export number of cars crossed the 10 million mark. The introduction of the 4runner SUV and MR2 sports car helped Toyota expand its mark on American ground. Bringing the Camry sedan in the U.S. proved to be a hit as it became the best selling car of the year more than once.
Toyota’s strong edge over technology can be seen with its first mass-produced hybrid, the Prius, which came into production in 1997 and became popular amongst the American buyers due to its fuel efficiency. Even with an increase in the number of competitors, the Prius still amazes to be on top in sales figures. Toyota’s current lineup consists of minivans and sedans to class-leading SUVs. It is still the most popular brand among the people who focus on quality and dependability.
The brand was once at 3rd position in the list of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers in 2005 and came on top position in 2006 and stayed there till 2011. The Tohoku earthquake of 2011 in Japan affected the suppliers base resulting in dropped production and export numbers. Severe flooding throughout the monsoon season in the Kingdom of Thailand affected the assembly base with total losses within the production of 240,000 units to the floods. Toyota plans to stop manufacturing plants in Australia by 2017 due to higher export rates in the Australian market.
By 2015 the company showcased its plans of investing US$1 billion into artificial intelligence and robotics research and development over the next five years. Toyota Racing Development (TRD) is responsible for providing high-performance racing parts for many Toyota vehicles. It is involved in numerous motorsports including NASCAR, Indy Racing League, Formula Drift, etc. They are famous for using the information gathered on track, and putting them into the mechanical and body structure of cars that come for TRD treatment.
Toyota is amongst the brands which are planning to offer a hybrid or electric version of their entire lineup of cars. They plan to achieve it by 2025, along with both the Toyota and Lexus brands. They also plan to introduce more than 10 new electric vehicles by 2020s. This decision of so many battery-powered cars calls for major strategy changes for Toyota. The company is developing solid-state batteries to power future electric cars. Their previous major step of moving towards hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicles was waved off due to difficulty in creating refueling infrastructures.
Toyota is expecting to sell 5.5 million electric vehicles worldwide by 2030. The majority of sales will likely come from hybrid vehicles as Toyota already has a lineup of hybrid cars on sale so it shouldn’t be too much stress. The next move would be electric-powered pickup trucks and sports cars with more powerful batteries and long-range capability. The development of solid-state batteries is underway to achieve all of this.