On this day in auto history - August 28th

Sat 28th Aug 2021

It was on this day in 1937 that Toyota - officially the world’s largest car manufacturer for most of this century - was founded.

The company’s roots lie in the Japanese weaving industry where Sakichi Toyoda invented the world’s first automatic loom. He duly sold the patent and sales rights for £100,000 to the Oldham-based Platt brothers in 1929 and that provided the start-up capital for automobile development.

Under the direction of the founder’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda, the company’s name was changed to Toyota for phonetic reasons and, having mainly dedicated itself to producing trucks for the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, the company switched to commercial car production in 1947.

Toyota became the first Japanese manufacturer to begin exporting vehicles to the US in 1957 and, having accelerated production massively by building vehicle plants in Brazil and Thailand, the marque had established a massive global presence by the end of the 1960’s.

Having reached the magical milestone of 100 million vehicles manufactured in 1997, Toyota took only another 15 years to smash through the 200 million barrier in 2012, helped in no small part by the enduring success of the Toyota Corolla - the best-selling vehicle in history with over 45 millions units sold.

Today Toyota’s corporate structure consists of over 365,000 employees worldwide and, with annual revenues of approximately $260 billion, it was ranked by Forbes as the fifth largest company in the world in 2017.

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