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Toyota sells more cars than any other company in the world. But that’s not all the Japan-based company is up to. The automaker has its fingers in all kinds of industries, from agriculture to textiles.
It also designs and constructs prefabricated homes. Though not a core source of the company’s revenue, Toyota’s prefab home branch is a pretty impressive operation. Each house is produced on an assembly line just like their vehicles.
As of now, the Toyota Housing Corporation only serves Japan, but if the rumors are true, the company could be looking to enter the American prefab housing market in the future. Who knows? Maybe your next home will be constructed by Toyota.
How did Toyota start building homes?
Toyota’s founder, Sakichi Toyoda, is kind of like the Henry Ford of Japan. He invented an automatic loom in 1924. The loom eventually inspired the famous Toyota Production System which was developed in part by Sakichi’s nephew, Eiji.
In 1933, the company started building cars under Sakichi’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda. After WWII, they began developing their production system, a process that took decades to refine. In 1975, the company applied the system to producing prefabricated housing products.
Housing was the first diversification project for Toyota after establishing itself as an automaker. LinkedIn says it still only makes up 0.5% of the company’s revenue. But it’s allowed Toyota to give back to the global community.
For example in 2017, the company provided temporary shelters for victims of a magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Turkey.
What else does Toyota produce?
You might think a company that sells cars and homes has diversified enough, but for Toyota, housing was just the beginning. Since the ‘70s, the company has moved into all kinds of industries.
Remember the thing I mentioned earlier about the company starting in the textile industry? Well, they never actually left it. You can still buy a Toyota sewing machine, though they are mostly only sold in Japan.
Besides other modes of transportation like aerospace, boats, and industrial equipment, the company also takes part in the biotech, telecommunications, and conservation industries.
Should I buy a Toyota?
Like any company, Toyota isn’t perfect. The company has been criticized recently for falling behind in the industry’s major trends like electric cars and semi-autonomous driver-assistance features.
But the Japanese company didn’t become the largest automaker in the world for no reason. For years, it’s been known to make some of the most reliable cars out there. Toyota also has one of the widest ranges of vehicles, so you can likely find the type you’re looking for.
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