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Toyota - Japanese Cars with Class

Toyota are the largest car manufacturer in the world, they are so big they actually have their own city where there headquarters are located. Cars are just a small part of their company, they produce everything from sewing machines to robots, but they are the best known part. Toyota have built their reputation by providing very high quality vehicles at reasonable prices and this is what has made them the most successful car builders in the world.

It may come as a surprise to learn that the world's largest car manufacturer actually started out building looms. It may come as a bigger surprise to learn that they still build looms. In the nineteen thirties Kiichiro Toyoda started a car manufacturing business as a spinoff of his father's company that built automatic looms. The company soon began building cars that looked suspiciously like some of the more popular American and European designs. In fact they were almost exact replicas. The company was just starting to get going when World War 2 started and Toyota stopped building cars in order to build trucks for the army. In the days after the war it was very difficult to sell any cars in Japan given the state of the economy and the company nearly went out of business. They were saved when the Korean War started and they were awarded a contract to build vehicles for the US Army.

Toyota really started to take off in the fifties as the Japanese economy started to improve, they also started to export cars to other countries. In 1956 Toyota were the first Japanese company to export cars to the United States. They encountered a problem in the sixties when the US government started to put tariffs on imported cars. This was when the company started to open manufacturing plants in the countries they were selling cars to. This turned out to be one of the most important decisions that the company ever made since it changed the way the car business worked. Up until then manufacturers built their cars in one location and then shipped them to where they were to be sold. Toyota started building the cars in the countries they were to be sold in, something all major manufacturers do nowadays.

The first Toyotas were all very small fuel efficient cars that many people, especially Americans had a hard time taking seriously. Then a gas shortage in the seventies made Toyotas very popular. Since then the company has moved into producing all kinds of different vehicles from luxury cars to sports cars to SUVs. The company is well known for the quality of its products, especially the manufacturing and this is a big part of their success. It is what has helped them to become the largest car manufacturer in the world. Toyota may have started out as a company that was famous for its small cheap cars but these days it is the quality that keeps them in business.