Courtesy Toyota Archives

An Abridged History of Toyota

  1. Toyoda Sakichi

    Toyoda Sakichi

    Founder Sakichi Toyoda (born in 1867) invented the Toyoda Power loom in 1896. He went on to establish Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. in 1926.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  2. Power Looms

    Power Looms

    In 1929 he sold the automatic loom patent to Platt Brothers & Co., Ltd. just a few years before setting up the first Toyoda automobile department.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  3. Model A1

    Model A1

    The first Model-A prototype car was created in 1935. That same year, "The Toyota Precepts" were established as a set of guidelines for management of the company. Among these five precepts is the instruction to "always stay ahead of the times through research and creativity." The final precept is "be reverent and conduct your life in thankfulness and gratitude." In 1937 Kiichiro Toyoda (not pictured above) founded the automobile company, breaking it free from his father's company.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  4. 1947 Model SB

    1947 Model SB

    In the 1940's Toyota's steel department split off, the Toyoda Hospital was built, and the company became listed on the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya Stock Exchanges. The truck, pictured here, is the 1947 Model SB which was popular with the American occupation forces.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  5. Engine Innovation

    Engine Innovation

    The 1950's saw a great deal of innovation for the company, including the introduction of the S-type and P-type gasoline engines and the D-type diesel engine. This decade also saw the production of Toyota's first fork-lift. Here, Japanese buyers from Toyoda inspect engines at the Hanover Fair in 1954.

    Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
  6. Hollywood, 1957

    Hollywood, 1957

    Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. was established in Hollywood in 1957. Even back then, Toyota was stalking U.S. car makers.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  7. The Toyopet

    The Toyopet

    The 1958 Toyopet Crown being loaded onto a ship for transport across the seas. All small vehicles were under the name Toyopet. The name was dropped in the U.S.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  8. Groovy Cars!

    Groovy Cars!

    Toyota line 1969, from an ad. Dig the groovy go-go boots!

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  9. 4-wheel drive

    4-wheel drive

    In 1979, Toyota introduced the 4-wheel drive truck.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  10. A Merger

    A Merger

    In 1982, the Toyota Motor Company and Toyota Motor Sales merged into one company, the Toyota Motor Corporation.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  11. A Luxury Brand

    A Luxury Brand

    Toyota began to branch into other car categories with the 1989 launch of Lexus as a luxury division of Toyota.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  12. Introducting the Hybrid

    Introducting the Hybrid

    Enter the Prius and the start of the hybrid cars. Above, a journalist takes a a close look at a gasoline engine, left, and an electric power train, right, placed side by side under the hood of the world's first gasoline-electric hybrid car, Prius, unveiled to reporters in Tokyo on Oct. 14, 1997.

    AP Photo
  13. Taking Flight

    Taking Flight

    A Toyota-logo airplane flying the Corolla name.

    Courtesy Toyota Archives
  14. A New Line: the Scion

    A New Line: the Scion

    Toyota introduced a concept version of the Scion at the New York International Automobile Show in 2002.

    AFP/Getty Images
  15. It Plays Music, too

    It Plays Music, too

    A trumpet-playing robot built by Toyota Motor Corp. performs in the Toyota Group pavilion at the 2005 Aichi Expo in Japan.

  16. Toyota City

    Toyota City

    Workers prepare to set a solar panel on the rooftop of a model house for the Toyota City Low-Carbon Verification Project in the Higashiyama district of Toyota City, Japan.

  17. NUMMI


    Workers, union leaders, community members and politicians rally outside the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. factory to keep vehicle assembly plant open in Fremont, California, U.S. The plant was opened as joint venture with General Motors in 1984 and closed in 2010 when GM pulled out of the partnership. The facility is now a Tesla Motors plant.

  18. Unintended Acceleration

    Unintended Acceleration

    Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp., at a press conference in , Japan, in 2010 announcing Toyota.'s U.S. recall of 5.6 million vehicles because of possible unintended acceleration.

  19. Over a Century of Growth

    Over a Century of Growth

    Toyota has come a long way in the past century. In 2011, Toyota had 317,716 employees, reported $222.2 billion in revenue and sold 7,308,039 vehicles worldwide.