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The Toyota Story

In 1924, Sakichi Toyoda invented the Toyoda Model G Automatic Textile Loom which generated enough starting capital to birth the worlds largest Automobile manufacturer.

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Vehicles were originally sold under the name “Toyoda” (トヨダ), from the family name of the company’s founder, Kiichiro Toyoda.

Risaburo Toyoda, who had married into the family and was not born with that name, preferred “Toyota” (トヨタ) because it took eight brush strokes (a lucky number) to write in Japanese,

Since “Toyoda” literally means “fertile rice paddies”, changing the name also prevented the company from being associated with old-fashioned farming.

From September 1947, Toyota’s small-sized vehicles sold under the name “Toyopet” (トヨペット). like the Toyopet Corona. The name was not well received due to connotations of toys and pets.

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The name was soon dropped for the American market, but continued in other markets until the mid-1960s.

By the early 1960s, the US had begun placing stiff import tariffs on certain vehicles so, Toyota, Nissian, then called Datsun and Honda began building plants in the US by the early 1980s.

Toyota launched their luxury division, Lexus in 1989. Today Lexus competes for market share with Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

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In 2003 I attended Mercedes-Benz model introduction training where the instructors were quite proud of the door hinge, which allowed the CL500 Coup’s door to move forward as it opened out. This allowed the door to be opened wide in narrow spaces. I later noticed the Lexus SC 400 had a similar door hinge back in the 1990s.

in October 1989 Toyota released it’s new logo to commemorate the 50th year of the company, and differentiate it from the newly released luxury Lexus brand.

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The logo made its debut on the 1989 Toyota Celsior and quickly gained worldwide recognition. The three ovals in the new logo combine to form the letter “T”, which stands for Toyota. The overlapping of the two perpendicular ovals inside the larger oval represent the mutually beneficial relationship and trust between the customer and the company, while the larger oval surrounding both of these inner ovals represents the “global expansion of Toyota’s technology and unlimited potential for the future.”