The History of Toyota and Listers

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How did the story of Toyota begin?

In the early 1900s, Kiichiro Toyoda’s family built a successful weaving business in Japan. As a young entrepreneur, he saw a future in building cars and was inspired by his visits to modern motor factories in the USA. His father, Sakichi, raised money to help launch his son’s ambition by selling his automatic loom design patents to a British firm, Platt Brothers of Oldham. The money raised was invested in research and prototypes, leading to the new automotive operation and prototype car, the AA Saloon.

In the early 1950s, Toyota sent the Land Cruiser and El Salvador to America. Followed by continued growth, the Toyota Crown became the first Japanese car to be exported to the United States. During the 1960s, American automakers faced slowing sales and massive expenses due to manufacturing their automobiles; the Toyota brand and its affordable models met the demands of the American drivers. By the 1980s, Toyota became the second largest car producer.

Where did the name Toyota come from?

The name initially was Toyoda, the family’s last name. The name change was decided in a competition, where Toyota was in favour because it had eight strokes in the Japanese script, which is considered a lucky number.

Toyota Logo

After years of designing, in 1989, Toyota introduced its emblem. The inner oval symbolises the heart of the customer and the heart of the company, overlapping to represent a mutually beneficial relationship and trust between the two, as well as forming a ‘T’ shape for Toyota. The outer oval signifies the world embracing Toyota. Each oval is a different thickness, which defines Japanese calligraphy. In 2020, Toyota introduced a brand new design in Europe including a reworked version of its logo - the logo wordmark has now been removed.

Toyota and Listers

In 1979, Terry Lister and Keith Bradshaw founded Listers and opened Toyota Boston and Toyota Grantham in 2002, shortly followed by Toyota Stratford and Coventry in 2003. Three years later, Toyota Nuneaton opened and Toyota Cheltenham followed in 2009.

Toyota 2021 Review

As of today, Jeremy Clarkson stated the Toyota GR Yaris is "one of the most enjoyable and thrilling cars I’ve ever driven".

Get in touch with your local Listers Toyota Centre to find out more about the fantastic selection of vehicles we have available.

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