Toyota is one of the world’s best-known and most successful businesses, building cars and trucks in 26 countries for sale in more than 160 markets around the globe.

In 2015, worldwide production for Toyota and Lexus brand vehicles was 10.084 million - the equivalent of one car coming off the production line every 3.1 seconds, every minute, every hour, every day.

The Toyota story began in 1918, when Sakichi Toyoda revolutionised the weaving industry with his invention of an automatic loom. The proceeds from the sale of his patent provided his son Kiichiro with the finances to make a start in the developing car industry.

Work practices that Sakichi had developed for his loom business were adapted to the automotive operation and in 1936 the first car, the Toyoda AA, was completed. Toyota Motor Corporation was formed the following year and in 1947 it manufactured its 100,000th vehicle.

In the 1960s, Toyota began exporting cars to Europe and in 1966 the original Corolla was launched, which was destined to become the world’s most successful model range with sales of more than 39 million (as of May 2012). Toyota’s interests have not been confined to the automotive sector. Beyond its original textile weaving business, the company has expanded into prefabricated housing, telecommunications, forestry and boat-building.

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