From England, an article that gives a historical overview of Toyota with some tidbits I don't recall hearing about before:
1) Having their own semiconductor fab:
Toyota is the only car company in the world to have its own chip- manufacturing line, where raw silicon disks are turned into printed circuit boards.
Rivals such as Ford and General Motors buy circuits ready-made from external suppliers, but Toyota refuses to let the work go outside. It makes all the most advanced gizmos in its cars itself, a policy that has allowed it to build machines such as the fast-selling Prius, a complicated “hybrid” car that saves fuel by having a petrol and an electric engine.
2) Toyota's President's idea of “dream cars” — driving for perfection
A company's purpose, Watanabe insists, is to be useful to society. He talks of creating “dream vehicles” that will not harm the environment, will never have accidents and will make their occupants healthier as they drive.
3) Kaizen-ing the family name? I know the family name is Toyoda, but they changed the name of the company to Toyota. Was this really in the name of efficiency, a sort of simplicity?
Toyoda Motor Corporation sold its first car, the A1, in 1936, and almost immediately changed its name to Toyota. The reason for the switch was simple â€” Toyota can be written in Japanese with just eight strokes of a pen, with eight being a lucky number, while Toyoda takes 12.
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