The origins of Toyota were as an automobile section of Toyoda Automatic Loom, in September 1933.  Quickly thereafter the section produced its first Type A Engine in 1934.  This was used in the production of the first Model A1 passenger car in May 1935 and the G1 truck in August 1935.  Production of the model AA passenger car started in 1936.

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During the Pacific War the company was dedicated to truck production for the Imperial Army.  Because of severe shortages in Japan, military trucks were kept as simple as possible.  For example, the trucks had only one headlight on the center of the hood.  Fortunately for Toyota, the war ended shortly before a scheduled allied bombing run on the Toyota factories in Aichi. Commercial passenger car production started in 1947 with the model SA. 

Today Toyota is one of the top car manufacturers with large market shares in both the US and Europe.  It has a small car division, selling under the Daihatsu brand as well as a heavy vehicle division, selling under the Hino brand.

Toyota is Japan's biggest car company and second largest in the world (the largest being America's General Motors) having recently overtaken Ford Motor Company in sales.  The company is immensely profitable, and its massive cash reserves dwarf those of many countries.  Toyota's vehicles are generally highly regarded for their quality, proficient engineering, and value, but their designs are viewed as anonymous and lacking the flair of smaller manufacturers.  Toyota offers one of the largest ranges of vehicles of any manufacturer and does, amongst its more predictable high-volume models, produce a number of exciting sports cars, particularly, the Celica, MR2 and Supra.

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