The Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese automotive manufacturer founded by Kilchiro Toyoda’s father. It is one of the largest automobile manufacturers globally. The company produces about 10 million vehicles a year. But did you know a city in Japan changed its name after the multinational corporation?
Toyota is headquartered and was founded in Toyota, Japan. Toyota had become so well-known, that the city, which was formerly known as Koromo was renamed after the corporation in 1959.
The Lesser Known Toyota
Toyota is well-known for its low-cost, long-lasting automobiles. Toyota is regarded among true auto enthusiasts for its more aggressive models, such as the Supra and the MR2. On the other hand, Toyota did not begin as the automobile manufacturer it is today. Toyota was and still is in a completely different industry.
Toyota began as an automated loom manufacturer. Toyota was far from being the carmaker it is now, providing fabric to businesses throughout Asia. Despite its automotive success, Toyota has never abandoned its textile sector and sells its machines worldwide, including in the United States. (Source: Hot Cars)
Why was the Company Renamed from Toyoda to Toyota?
Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, is not the same man who founded the worldwide recognized automotive firm. Kiichiro Toyoda, his son, visited the United States in the early 1930s, intending to replicate exactly what American carmakers were doing. Toyoda Motors Corporation was founded in 1937.
Despite the founder’s Toyoda surname, the entire company was renamed Toyota. Because writing in Katakana only takes eight strokes and eight is a lucky number in Japan, the company’s leaders chose Toyota. Being superstitious paid off, as the company is now one of the world’s most profitable. (Source: Hot Cars)
The Early Toyota Models
Because the Japanese automobile industry was still in its infancy in the 1930s, American and European automobiles heavily influenced the first Toyota models. Even though Toyota is now a globally known automobile company, it is crucial to note that it followed the same business model as Chinese firms.
Toyota’s first passenger automobile was the AA. Between 1936 and 1942, just 1404 units were made. The AA was a good family car with a 3.4L 6-cylinder engine that produced 62hp. Incredibly, Toyota successfully reproduced American cars and, in some ways, improved upon them. (Source: Hot Cars)
The War That Almost Broke Them
The invasion of South Korea by Marxist North Korea initiated the Korean War, commonly known as the Forgotten War. The US army assisted the South Korean military during the Cold War by giving troops the necessary weaponry to launch an all-out war.
Toyota was on the edge of bankruptcy during the Korean War. Demand for certain commodities was at an all-time low in Japan, which was still recuperating from World War 2. Toyota only made 300 trucks in 1950. The US government ordered 5,000 Toyota trucks to revitalize the Japanese brand while limiting military spending. (Source: Hot Cars)