The Toyota Motor Corporation (just “Toyota” to their friends) started as an offshoot of the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in 1933 and became an independent company in 1937. Their first products were the A1 passenger car and G1 truck which enjoyed modest domestic sales and encouraged further development of the compact SA and SB models, sold under the name “Toyopet”. Encouraged by the Japanese government to increase domestic production of cars, Toyota also produced trucks for the Imperial Japanese Army during WW2 and began to export cars to European and North American markets in the early 50s and 60s. While Toyota suffered from US tariffs on imported vehicles in the late 1960s, they mitigated this with factories abroad manufacturing Toyota tyres and parts and were able to capitalise on the huge demand for economical compact cars cause by the 1973 oil crisis with their wide range of existing compact cars.
By adopting efficient management philosophies (such as “Lean Manufacturing”) which help to reduce waste and increase productivity early on, the research, production, and distribution of Toyota tyres and parts has increased dramatically from the company’s humble beginnings. As you’d expect from a company started by an already successful businessman, Toyota employs many practical and holistic approaches to the management and development processes.
While Toyota originally focussed on compact cars and trucks, they released a range of sport and luxury-oriented cars in the 90s, notably the Toyota Celica and Supra. Toyota suffered serious setbacks in 2011 due to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and heavy monsoons in Thailand, though they have bounced back to top global sales figures in 2014, selling 5.1 vehicles in 6 months! Since then, Toyota have invested in artificial intelligence, robotics and the ridesharing service Uber to push the envelope and promote technological innovation. If you own one of the many economical models, energy saving Toyota tyres are best suited, but performance tyres are recommended on sportier models like the recent GT86.