Toyota builds 200-millionth vehicle

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IOL mot pic jul24 Toyota G1 . Toyota G1 truck, 1935.

It took 76 years and 11 months to do - and almost another month to verify the count! But Toyota has now made it official.

As of the end of June 2012, cumulative production of Toyota vehicles reached 145 210 000 in Japan and 55 120 000 in overseas plants, making a total of 200 330 000 - that's just over two hundred million.

The most-produced Toyota model is the Corolla; cumulative worldwide Corolla production was 39 080 000 - almost forty million - as of the end of June.

It all began with the first model G1 truck, built in August 1935 in the fledgling automotive department of the Toyoda family's Automatic Loom Works, which was later spun off to become Toyota Motor Company.

Why the change in spelling?

Kiichiro Toyoda felt that Toyota, with the harder final consonant, would be easier for gaijin (Westerners) to pronounce - even then the brand-new automaker had its eye on going global.

And, although it now employs 300 000 people worldwide, it's still a family business. Current president Akio Toyoda said at the announcement: “I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to our customers the world over who made it possible for us to reach this milestone.

“I also have the most profound respect and gratitude for the efforts of all persons who were involved in developing, manufacturing, and marketing Toyota and Lexus vehicles over the years.”

All we can say is, congratulations, Toyoda-san.

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