Entering the passenger car market in 1936 with the Model AA, Toyota has become one of the most recognised motor vehicle brands in the world. Founded by Kiichiro Toyoda, Toyota was a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works until it became an independent company in 1937 as Toyota Motor Company.In 1982, Toyota Motor Company merged with Toyota Motor Sales to form the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC).
Toyota may refer to a number of companies, but the brand is best known throughout the world for its motor vehicle products which fall under Toyota Motor Corporation. All the companies are bound in a philosophy known as the “Toyota Way” which was adopted in 2001. The values enshrined in the Toyota Way include: Challenge, Kaizen (Improvement), Genchi Genbutsu (Go and See), Respect and Teamwork. It is on this foundation that TMC designs and builds Toyota cars.
One of the most notable cars for the Toyota brand is the Toyota Prius – the first mass-produced fully hybrid vehicle. The Prius was introduced in 1997 in Japan and grew to be the eco-friendly face of Toyota.
Toyota has a strong motorsports grounding with its development of race cars that compete in the Word Rally Championship, Formula One and Le Mans. These developments have had an influence in the sports cars released by Toyota. Some of the most notable Toyota sports cars include the Supra, Celica, MR2 and recently the FT 86 (known as the 86 in South Africa).