It all started with an inventor named Sakichi Toyoda during the 1800s. The father of Toyota's founder Kiichiro Toyoda. Sakichi used their skills in developing a loom factory. There, he made use of the steam engine to make these mechanical looms. They also had a built-in system so that the machine would shut down automatically if a thread broke. He had great success with its production and became very famous in Japan and in other countries. His biggest inspiration came from Samuel Smiles's book Man's own power. This book is about a philosophy that is not about making money but to help others improve their lives. Sakichi is faounder of many terms that even today is used by Toyota for example Keiretsu, genchi, Genbutsu, jidoko etc.
1929 Sakichi sent his son Kiichiro to England to sell the patent rights to his loom to Platt Brothers for a hundred thousand pounds. This capital is then used to start the Toyota Motor Corporation 1930. Because Sakichi thought it was something that was in time, and that looms in the future would not be such a big market.
It has not been an easy road that Toyota has undergone in order to succeed in becoming a world leading automotive companies. They have had to undergo major crises to eventually succeed in reaching to the top. This they have achieved a lot because of the philosophy that Kiichiro has inherited from his father. But even from many of the studies that Taiichi Ohno did at Ford's automobile production and their philosophy of scientific management developed by Frederick Taylor. Taiichi Ohno was also the person who faound the term TPS (Toyota Production System), which is the foundation of Lean production.