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Sakichi Toyoda founded Toyota in 1933 as a division of his Automatic Loom Works, following the sale of his automatic loom patent to a British company in 1924. His son Kiichiro, headed this new division, helping to develop two passenger vehicles – the A1 & G1 – in 1935, before releasing their first car, the Model AA in 1936. A year later, Toyota Motor Co. was established as an independent company.The Toyopet name was used for smaller vehicles in Toyota’s roster from 1947 onwards, although its juvenile connotations made it unpopular in US markets until it was dropped. In 1964, the US begun to issue a 25% tariff on many import vehicles, a move which Toyota countered by building plants in US themselves. Toyota’s small but well-built cars were successful during the oil crisis of 1973, due to their good fuel economy and level of quality, something other manufacturers couldn’t manage without bumping up production costs.In 1982, Toyota Motor Company and Toyota Motor Sales became one company. Known from then on as the Toyota Motor Corporation, they participated in a joint venture with General Motors in 1984, operating an old, shutdown factory and using it to build new brands, including their luxury marque, Lexus, from 1989. The 90’s saw Toyota expand by adding larger vehicles to their range, including SUVs, pickup trucks and the sports-orientated Scion brand. Development on the hugely popular Prius began in 1997.Their increased presence in Europe led to the decision to create Toyota Motor Europe Marketing and Engineering (TMME) which would make the marketing of vehicles easier in that region. As well as a base in the United Kingdom, bases in Indiana, Virginia and Tianjin were set up in order to supply trade more easily in those areas.
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