80 Years ago the car company Toyota was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda. Famous for producing some seriously stylish and reliable vehicles, OSV wanted to celebrate the company’s 80th birthday by sharing some of the most interesting facts they could find.
A Little History
The Toyota Motor Corporation was founded in 1937, and was a division of the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. While they are known (and famous) for their cars, they are still in the textile business.
The spelling of the name of the car company was changed to Toyota because when written in Katakana, it only takes eight strokes to write. The number eight is a sign of luck and good fortune in East Asian cultures.
When Kiichiro Toyoda, who was the son of the founder of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, first started to plan the Toyota cars, he originally got his ideas from the United States of America. He travelled there in 1929 so that he could get a better understanding of the way in which cars were manufactured because the war with China meant that Japan needed to start producing their own vehicles. This is why the early Toyota’s are very similar to the Dodge Power Wagon and Chevrolet in terms of appearance.
At the time of the Korean War, Toyota was on the brink of total bankruptcy, and by June 1950 it has only produced 300 trucks. However, in the first few months of the Korean War, the USA ordered over 5,000 vehicles from them, which saved the company.
In 1957, they became the first Japanese manufacturer to compete in motorsports by taking part in the Round Australia Rally. This is because Toyoda believed that motorsports are the foundation of the evolution of car manufacturing, and the progression of the automotive industry as a whole. Now, 60 years later, Toyota still participate, and the reason remains unchanged.
Infographic Source: OSV