The Toyota Motor Corporation is a multinational car manufacturer with its headquarters in Aichi, Japan. In 1937 Kiichiro Toyoda founded the company specifically to make cars, having been spun off from his father's company, Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. Its first vehicles were the A1 car and the G1 truck, which were produced in 1935, before the companies diverged. By 2008 Toyota sales had surpassed those of General Motors, making it the largest car manufacturer in the world.
During World War II the company was mainly involved in the production of trucks. After the war, in 1947, with the company on the verge of bankruptcy, it started commercial car production again with the SA model. Problems remained and Kiichiro Toyoda resigned, but gradually the company managed to turn things around with the introduction of the Toyopet Crown, Toyopet Master and Crown Deluxe revived Toyota sales.
Throughout the 1960's a new range was introduced, including the Toyota Corolla in 1966. By the end of the decade domestic Toyota sales were at one million cars, while a further million had been exported to the rest of the world. The Toyota Tiara, also known as the Toyota Corona PT20, was the first Americanised Toyota, proving the company was able to adapt to the different demands of consumers around the world. Toyota's image is that of a solid, reliable, but slightly dull range of cars, but this is useful when you want to sell a used Toyota or a nearly new Toyota.
In 1997 Toyota made a bold move by introducing the world's first mass-produced hybrid car, the Prius. This shows that Toyota is a forward thinking company, which is willing to adapt to the undoubted changes that the motor industry will have to go through over the coming years.