The history of the largest Japanese car manufacturing company "Toyota" began in 1933, after the trip of the founder of the company Kiichiro Toyoda to the United States of America, the production of Toyota G1 trucks began at its factories. And the differences in the name of the founder and the name of the car brand are due to the great euphony. The Toyota trademark was registered in 1937, and 6 months later the first plant of the company was built. In the same year, the first model of the Toyota AA concern was presented, built on the basis of American brands "Dodge" and "Chevrolet".
With the outbreak of World War II, all the production facilities of the Kiichiro Toyoda industrial empire were transferred to the production of military equipment and to meet the needs of the Japanese army. Under these conditions, the Toyota brand was no exception, having established the production of military trucks at its factories. However, in 1944, after a massive bombing raid, the Toyota factories were destroyed.
Production was resumed only at the end of 1946, and the company's first passenger car was presented in 1947. It was the Toyota SA model, built on the basis of the developments of Ferdinand Porsche - the people's car of Germany Volkswagen 1200. However, under the hood there was a four-cylinder power unit, in contrast to the two-cylinder in the original. In addition, the model was produced only in a single body variation - an all-metal one. The motors were installed with a three-speed manual gearbox. In 1950, a full-fledged economic crisis began within the dilapidated industrial empire "Toyoda", which was the reason for the massive strikes. Including at the relatively successful Toyota, where, unlike other divisions of the Toyoda conglomerate, workers received their wages on time.
After all the financial problems were resolved, Toyota gained wide independence, and from the side of the Toyoda concern only an observer was put forward, with the constant presence of the Toyoda family on the board of directors of the brand. In 1951, the independent company Toyota Motor Sales was founded, which acted as an official dealer, opening more than 50 representative offices in the automotive market in Japan, China, South Korea and Central Asia.
After the death of the founder of the company Kiichiro Toyoda in 1952, the course of development of the brand changed dramatically, which led to significant changes in the management and production structure of the company. The descendants of Kiichiro decided to renew cooperation with the military, presenting an off-road vehicle that could be sold to everyone, both ordinary citizens and the army.
After two years of development, the Land Cruiser was introduced in 1954, one of the first off-road vehicles from Japan. The car was so popular with foreign investors that for 60 years it was supplied to the armies of countries such as Ireland, Eritrea, Singapore and Israel. In addition, field tests of the model allowed Toyota to develop a universal all-wheel drive platform, which began to be installed on the brand's passenger cars in the 80s and 90s of the 20th century.
In 1956, the Toyota Crown model was introduced, equipped with a 1.5-liter power unit with a capacity of 60 horsepower and a three-speed gearbox. Just a year after the release of the model, it began shipping to the United States automotive market, making it the first successful Japanese car in the largest market of those years. In 1961, the company set a course for the creation of economical compact cars, so the Toyota Public saw the light, which allowed the Japanese automaker to multiply the production of passenger cars, bringing the number of cars sold to one million in 1962.
In 1966, Toyota introduced a new compact model called the Corolla, which had a 1.1 liter engine and a rear wheel drive transmission. The profit from the sale of this model allowed the Toyota brand to solve one of its main problems - the development of efficient and inexpensive power units, thanks to the purchase of a controlling stake in another Japanese brand, Daihatsu.
The global fuel crisis that has flared up has ensured a rapid growth in sales of Toyota vehicles. The company has charted a new path of development, releasing one new model every year. So in 1970 the Celica model was presented, which formed the basis for a whole range of economical cars. In addition, the growth of sales of Toyota models in the United States of America, several factories of the brand were opened in Canada at once, contributing to the growth of production volumes to meet demand.
In 1983, Toyota attempted to create a business-class car by releasing the Toyota Camry, specifically for the American automotive market. The model was equipped with a new generation of Daihatsu engines, which since 1982 have been produced under the Toyota brand. However, despite a number of revolutionary decisions, the model could not compete with Cadillac or Dodge cars, which significantly affected the welfare of the Japanese company, which invested 90% of its profits in modernizing production facilities in 1982-1987.
In 1988, the second generation of the Corolla model was released, which gained immense popularity in the European automotive market. In addition, the company has come to grips with the creation of full-size off-road vehicles, presenting a new generation of Land Cruiser and the American 4Runner. A year later, after recovering from the crisis period of the mid-80s, the management of the Toyota company, taking into account all the mistakes with the release of the Camry model, registered the Lexus trademark. It was Lexus that was able to prepare luxury versions of Toyota cars for the American market, gaining immense popularity. But the main achievement of the company in the US market, without a doubt, can be called the victory over the more experienced premium brands "Infinity" and "Acura", owned by the concerns "Nissan" and "Honda", respectively. The victory over direct competitors allowed to increase sales of Toyota cars in the domestic market of Japan, which led to a 31% increase in sales with a 12% increase in car prices.
In 1990, the subsidiary Toyota Design was founded, which saved the Japanese automaker from collaborating with a European design studio. The first car with a design developed by the company's designers was the Rav4 model, which laid the foundation for the class of all-wheel drive crossovers. Under the hood of the mid-size model Toyota Rav4 were located two-liter power units with a capacity of 135 and 178 horsepower, and buyers could choose not only the body type - a three or five-door version, but also the type of gearbox - automatic or mechanical. A year later, on the basis of this model, the first Toyota minivan was presented, developed exclusively for the automotive market of the United States of America and Europe.
In 1998, the company's lineup was completely updated, as well as two completely new models were presented - a mid-size sedan Toyota Avensis, equipped with 110-128 horsepower gasoline engines, and a full-size Toyota Land Cruiser SUV. In addition to all-wheel drive and frame construction, the car could be equipped with a 4.5-liter six-cylinder engine producing 212 horsepower and a 4.7-liter eight-cylinder engine producing 228 horsepower. Three years later, the model range of the company underwent modernization again, and technologies of a single platform were introduced into the technological process of creating Toyota cars, which made it possible to avoid technical problems and increase the reliability of all company cars.
In 2001, the management of the Toyota concern decided to exhibit the factory team in one of the most prestigious Formula 1 racing series, and the Matsushita Corporation became the title sponsor of the team, placing advertisements of its Panasonic brand on Toyota cars. However, the construction of the base for the team in Germany took too long, and the development of the engine required additional costs, and as a result, the debut of the Japanese team took place only in 2002. The first three years of participation in such a serious competition did not bring Toyota success, and the development of new cars required more and more serious funds. This was the turning point in the team's short history.
In 2005, some of the best riders of the time were invited - Jarno Trulli, dismissed from the Renault team, and Ralf Schumacher, the younger brother of the multiple champion who had some success with the legendary Williams team. The results went uphill, the riders began to finish in the top three from time to time, but they could not get the long-awaited victory. In 2008, the global financial crisis struck, putting an end to further performances of the Toyota team in races, even though in 2007 the Toyota concern became the largest automaker in the world. But under the contract, the racers spent a full season in 2009, after which the Formula 1 program for the Japanese concern was curtailed. The team's base in Germany came under the control of the Lexus brand, as did the Fuji race track, where the brand's sports cars were tested.
In 2007-2010, despite financial difficulties, Toyota is carrying out another modernization of its model range, presenting new generations of all current models, the flagship of which is the Land Cruiser 200, which has become the sales leader in the automotive markets of Russia, Canada and the United States of America in its class. In addition, 2010 saw Toyota develop a revolutionary hybrid platform for its vehicles, which led to a number of disputes and claims from competitors. But the management of the Toyota concern assured that by 2025 all the cars of the Japanese concern will be built on such a platform, which will significantly reduce not only fuel consumption, but also preserve the dynamic data of cars.
And in 2011, the Toyota concern, through its subsidiaries, tried to expand its stake in Subaru from 5 to 35%, but the Japanese government blocked the deal, stipulating it under antimonopoly legislation.
In 2012, Toyota started the construction of a number of factories in China, which will allow to increase the production of cars of the brand by 1.5 times by 2020. In addition, research centers have been opened in all major cities around the world, which are actively involved in the development of greener powertrains and in activities to improve road safety.
In the same year, a new generation of lightweight rear-wheel drive sports cars Toyota GT86, developed in conjunction with the Subaru brand, was announced. Under the hood of the model is a two-liter turbocharged engine of a new generation with a capacity of 200 horsepower. In 2013, the Japanese concern announced the release of a car based on the fifth generation Rav4, which is an all-electric crossover with a powerful electric motor and a power reserve of 390 kilometers on a single charge.
Toyota Yaris Hybrid is a B-class front wheel drive hatchback with a hybrid power plant. The debut of the modification, built on the basis of the third generation of the model, took place at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012. In the spring of 2014, the hatchback was restyled. The Toyota Yaris Hybrid is driven by a power plant consisting of a 1.5-liter gasoline engine operating on the Atkinson cycle and producing 75 hp. from. power, electric motor and nickel-metal hydride battery. In March 2015, a restyled version of the Toyota Auris Touring Sports Hybrid debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. It is a class C versatile vehicle with a hybrid powertrain. The total power of the station wagon's power plant is 136 liters. sec., and the declared average fuel consumption is 3.9 liters per 100 kilometers.