The history of Toyota began in 1934 when Toyota, a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, produced its “first Type A Engine, which was used in the first Model A1 passenger car in May 1935 and the G1 truck in August 1935.” Quoted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In 1937 Toyota established itself as an independent company, separate from Toyoda Automatic Loom Works and was encouraged to develop vehicle production, particularly trucks which would be used in the war against China, by the Japanese Armed Forces.
The History of Toyota
The starting history of Toyota finds its origins way back in 1918 when Sakichi Toyoda invented the automatic loom. This loom, used in the fabric/textile industry, could automatically change the shuttle while operating at high speed without slowing down and featured a unit for supplying the weft. The A1 was the first prototype passenger car built by the company that would become the Toyota Motor Co.
In 1929 the production and sales rights of the loom were sold to the Platt Brothers, a British company for £100,000. The proceeds of this sale would pave the way for the establishment and development of automotive technology at Toyoda., headed by Sakichi Toyoda’s son, Kiichiro. This led to the launch of the Company’s first ever passenger car in 1936, the Model AA, and in 1937, the Toyota Motor Company was born.
The Toyota Motor Co. almost found itself bankrupt or on the verge of collapse on several occasions in the early years following its establishment in the motor industry. It would be war which would save the company and provide room for growth. First the war with China, then World War II and the Korean War created demand for trucks and the further development of the automobile manufacturing industry in Japan. The company factories in Aichi narrowly escaped a planned bombing by Allied Forces when the war was ended on 8 May 1945. Within months of the start of the Korean War in June 1950, the Toyota Motor Co. received an order of more than 5 000 vehicles during a time when the company was laying off staff and reducing worker wages due to financial difficulties.
Toyota in Post World War II Years
Brazil was the first country to go into production of the Toyota brand outside of Japan in 1959. The company now manufactures Toyota / Lexus vehicles and has components production plants in countries al over the world including South Africa. Anyone driving down the South Coast from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal would have seen the thousands of car bays from the main highway.
Toyota in South Africa
The company Motor Assemblies originally began the assembly of Toyota vehicles in South Africa in 1962 although the Stout was the first Toyota available in South Africa, beginning in 1961. Motor Assemblies also built Volvos and Ramblers. Toyota South Africa later built the Renault 5 locally. The Toyota SA production plant is located in Prospecton, Durban and assemble/manufacture Corolla, Quantum, Hilux vehicles and a number of Hino Trucks.
Present Day Toyota
Toyota has become one of the top selling brands in South Africa and globally. Their production plants reach across the globe and their parts and service availability is nothing short of profound in the industry. The Toyota Hilux Pickup Truck (bakkie) and Toyota Corolla range are very much in demand.