One of the biggest car manufacturers in the world is Toyota, superseded only by General Motors. Toyota has high hopes of becoming the largest car maker in the world by 2010, which, considering it is one of the most profitable companies in the world, is a reasonable aim.
Toyota made 9.5 million cars in 2007 alone, with success being pinned to the fact that cars are produced in the country where they are sold. This has led to a global enterprise, with Toyota's production spanning six continents, with a work force of quarter of a million people, and selling within 160 different markets across the globe.
Toyota was actually the result of the Toyota Spinning and Weaving Company, set up by Sakichi Toyoda in 1918. He invented the first automatic loom, for which he sold the patent and gave the money to his son. His son, Kiichiro, invested it into automotive technology and in 1936 the Toyota AA hit the market, with the 100,000th vehicle being built 11 years later. Toyota cars came to Europe in 1962, with production surpassing the one million mark Car Diagnostic Tool. Fast forward a couple of decades to 1986, and 50 million Toyotas had been produced. A few years later, Toyota set up manufacturing in Britain with an engine manufacturing plant in Wales and a factory in Derbyshire where cars are produced.
Type: Public (Xetra: NSU)
Founder: Kiichiro Toyoda
Headquarters: Toyota, Aichi, Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan
Key People: Kiichiro Toyoda (Founder), Fujio Cho (Chairman and Representative Director)
Subsidiaries: 522 companies
Toyota Featured Models
TOYOTA CELICA - launched in 1970 and discontinued in 2005, this means "heavenly" and is the name given to a series of popular coupés.
TOYOTA COROLLA - put on the market in 1966, the tenth generation of this car was launched in 2006. At least 30 million Corollas have been sold, but it hasn't been sold in the UK since February 2007 when the Auris took its place.
TOYOTA HILUX - first reaching the market in 1969 to replace the Stout, this Toyota model is a compact pick-up truck.
TOYOTA LANDCRUISER - this first appeared in 1954, and has since reached its ninth generation. A four-wheel drive, it is renowned for getting close to the off-road capabilities of the Range Rover.
TOYOTA MR2 - a two-seater sports car with mid-engine and rear-wheel drive, made from 1984 to 2007.
TOYOTA RAV4 -first manufactured in 1994, now in its third generation, this is a compact SUV.
TOYOTA SUPRA - made between 1979 and 2002, this is a full-sized sports car, modelled on the Toyota Celica, but with more powerful engines.
TOYOTA YARIS - now in its second generation, this is a small hatchback city car that first came on the market in 1999.
Toyota - did you know?
Approximately 70 per cent of Toyota cars produced in the UK are exported to Europe, and 15 per cent to another 70 countries worldwide.
The surname of the founder was actually Toyoda but it got changed to Toyota as, according to Japanese superstition, this is luckier.
Shoichiro Toyoda - a member of the founding family - was inducted into the USA's Automotive Hall of Fame in 2007 Autel MaxiPRO MP808TS.
In 2001, the first Toyota to be awarded European Car of the Year was the Yaris, followed by the Prius in 2005.
Toyota has a subsidiary called Lexus, which owns Daihatsu as well, and a US one called Scion which aims its cars at young drivers.
Toyota - where to buy?
Auto Trader is a UK base website where you will find a wide range of new and used Toyota models, and more information about this car.