The Toyota Motor Co. Ltd was first established in 1937 as a spin-off from Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, one of the world's leading manufacturers of weaving machinery.
The Toyoda Automatic Loom Works was then headed by Japan's "King of Inventors" Sakichi Toyoda. The patent rights to one of his machines had been sold to Platt Brothers (UK) and provided the seed-money for the development and test-building of Toyota's first automobiles.
August 1997 marked the 60th anniversary of TMC. The fledgling company founded by Kiichiro Toyoda, Sakichi's son, has since blossomed into the leader that it is today.
In 1950 the company experienced its one and only strike. Labour and management emerged from this stoppage firmly committed to the principles of mutual trust and dependence, and that corporate philosophy still guides our growth today.
Production systems were improved in the late 1950s, culminating in the establishment of the 'Toyota Production System.' It became known as TPS in 1970 but was established much earlier by Taiichi Ohno. Based on the principles of Jidoka, Just-in-time and Kaizen, the system is a major factor in the reduction of inventories and defects in the plants of Toyota and its suppliers, and it underpins all our operations across the World.
Toyota launched its first small car (SA Model) in 1947. Production of vehicles outside Japan began in 1959 at a small plant in Brazil, and continued with a growing network of overseas plants. Toyota believes in localising its operations to provide customers with the products they need where they need them; this philosophy builds mutually beneficial long-term relationships with local suppliers and helps the company fulfill its commitments to local labour.
Over and above manufacturing,Toyota also has a global network of design and 'Research and Development' facilities, embracing the three major car markets of Japan, North America and Europe.
In every community in which the company operates, Toyota strives to be a responsible corporate citizen; close relationships with people and organisations in the local community are essential contributors to mutual prosperity. Across the world, Toyota participates enthusiastically in community activities ranging from the sponsorship of educational and cultural programmes to international exchange and research.
Today, Toyota is the world's second largest manufacturer of automobiles in unit sales and in net sales. It is by far the largest Japanese automotive manufacturer, producing more than 9.1 million vehicles per year, equivalent to one every six seconds. In the time it has taken you to read this paragraph, we'll have produced at least another three or four cars!