Toyota started in 1933 as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works devoted to the production of automobiles under the direction of the founder's son, Kiichiro Toyoda. Its first vehicles were the A1 passenger car and the G1 in 1935. Toyota Motor Co. was established as an independent company in 1937. In 2008, Toyota's sales surpassed General Motors, making Toyota number one in the world.
Recent company developments
2007–2011 financial crisis
On May 8, 2009, Toyota reported a record annual net loss of US$4.2 billion, making it the latest automobile maker to be severely affected by the global financial crisis that started from 2007.
2009–2011 vehicle recalls
Main article: 2009–2010 Toyota vehicle recalls
From November 2009 through the first quarter of 2010, Toyota recalled more than 8 million (accounts differ) cars and trucks worldwide in several recall campaigns, and briefly halted production and sales.The US Sales Chief, James Lentz, was questioned by the United States Congress committees on Oversight and Investigations on February 23, 2010, as a result of recent recalls.On February 24, 2010, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.On April 6, 2010, The US government sought a record penalty of US$16.375 million from Toyota for its delayed response in notifying the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding the defective accelerator pedals.On May 18, 2010, Toyota paid the fine without an admission of wrongdoing.The record fine and the high profile hearings caused accusations of conflict of interest. Senior managing director Takahiko Ijichi said that recall-related costs in the financial year that ended March 2010 totaled US$1.93 billion (¥180 billion).the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NASA and Japanese Ministry of Transport have been involved in the investigations, driver error or pedal misapplication was found responsible for most of the incidents. This included sticking accelerator pedals, and pedals caught under floor mats.
2011 workers' strike in France
On March 31, 2011, the Toyota Factory in Onnaing, France, was hit by a strike of several hundred workers asking for more pay.
|Mass production of Toyoda automated loom. Display the Toyota Museum in Nagakute-cho, Aichi-gun, Aichi Pref. Japan|