Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the major automobile brands in the world. Here are some of the interesting and fun facts about this Japanese-based automotive giant.
Scion is a division of Toyota, designed primarily for the younger customers. However, the economic downturn led to its falling sales. Early in 2016 Toyota announced that it will discontinue the Scion brand this coming August (as of this writing), and will re-brand it as Toyota vehicles in the model year 2017.
Toyota began to produce the hybrid car Prius in 1997. The Prius family went on to become the biggest-selling hybrid cars in the world, with around 5.7 million units sold.
The Toyota Supra was a sportscar produced from 1978 to 2002. Its style derived from the Toyota Celica (only the Supra was longer and wider), and sometimes people used to confuse between the two. During the mid-1980s the Toyota stopped to call “Celica Supra” and began to call as just “Supra,” marking its seperation from the Celica. But due to falling sales in later years, Toyota officially ceased the Supra in 2002.
Toyota Motor Corporation was established as a spinoff of the Toyota Automatic Loom Works founded by his father Sakichi Toyoda. While Toyota is best known for its automobiles, it also manufactures textiles.
Toyota Motor Corporation had its roots in the textiles business, when Sakichi Toyoda founded the Toyoda Model G Automatic Loom. Looms were constructed in a small production line. Sakichi son Kiichiro, founded the Toyota Motor Corporation in 1937 as a division of his father’s Toyota Automatic Loom Works.
But as of 2015, Toyota’s workforce amounted to 344,109 (consolidated).
The Toyota Prius is the top selling hybrid car in the United States, passing the 1 million mark in 2011.
However, Toyota’s first presence in the United States wasn’t quite promising at first. When Toyota first released the Toyopet Crown that year, the name was not accepted well due to “toy” and “pet” in its name.
So how did the “Toyota” (with a “t”) get its name? The founder of the company had the family name of Toyoda. Sakichi Toyoda started a textile business which became successful. His son and Toyota Motor Corporation founder Kiichiro, decided to create a spinoff company that would devote to manufacturing automobiles.
In order to attract publicity, Kiichiro put up a logo-making contest. About 27,000 contestants turned up. The winning entry was a logo with the word “Toyota,” written in katakana, inside a circle. Because writing “Toyota” (with “t”) in katakana characters takes eight brushtrokes, and eight is considered a lucky number in Japan, something quite auspicious for the starting company.
In the 2016 Consumer Reports article, Toyota is one of the “Top 5 Car Brands to Buy” in the United States, ranking third. Its luxury car division Lexus tops the list. The article ranks the cars based on their reliability and their performance on road tests.
The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in the United States since 1997 (except for 2001). It has been selling well in Australia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.