Portal:Japanese cars

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The Japanese Car Portal

Suzuki Swift

Japan is the world's second-third now and first at 1980-1993, 2006-2008 largest automobile manufacturer and exporter, and has six of the world's ten largest automobile manufacturers. In addition to its massive automobile industry, Japan also is the home to manufacturers of other types of vehicles, like powersports motorcycle manufacturers Kawasaki and Yamaha, and heavy equipment manufacturers Fuji Heavy Industries, Hitachi, Kubota, Komatsu and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. It is home to some of the world's largest automotive companies such as Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

Japanese zaibatsu (business conglomerates) began building their first automobiles in the middle to late 1910s. The companies went about this by either designing their own trucks (the market for passenger vehicles in Japan at the time was small), or partnering with a European brand to produce and sell their cars in Japan under license. Such examples of this are Isuzu partnering with Wolseley Motors (UK), and the Mitsubishi Model A, which was based upon the Fiat Tipo 3. The demand for domestic trucks was greatly increased by the Japanese buildup to war before World War II, and thus caused many Japanese manufacturers to break out of their shells and design their own vehicles.
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2011 Toyota Corolla -- NHTSA.jpg
The Toyota Corolla is a line of subcompact and compact cars manufactured by Toyota. Introduced in 1966, the Corolla managed to become the best-selling car worldwide by 1974 and has been one of the best-selling cars in the world since then. In 1997, the Corolla became the best selling nameplate in the world, surpassing the Volkswagen Beetle. Over 39 million Corollas have been sold as of 2012. The series has undergone several major redesigns.

Corollas are manufactured in Japan, Brazil, (Indaiatuba, São Paulo), Canada (Cambridge, Ontario), China (Tianjin), India (Bangalore), Pakistan, South Africa (Durban), Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela.

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Luxury divisions
Smaller manufacturers
ASL/AutobacsHinoIsuzuMitsuokaTommy Kaira
Defunct brands



  • 1907 - Daihatsu established
  • 1914 - Nissan Established
  • 1917 - Mitsubishi Model A
  • 1918 - Isuzu first car
  • 1924-1927 - Otomo
  • 1931 - Mazda-Go (by Toyo Kogyo corp, later Mazda)
  • 1934-1957 - Ohta starts auto production
  • 1935 - Toyota's first prototype car, the Model A1
  • 1948 - Honda established
  • 1952-1966 - Prince (absorbed into Nissan)
  • 1953-1967 - Hino Motors starts auto production (merged into Toyota)
  • 1954 - Subaru first Car P1
  • 1955 - Suzuki's first car Suzulight
  • 1957 - Daihatsu's 1st car Midget
  • 1966 - One of the best selling cars of all time, the Toyota Corolla, is introduced
  • 1967 - Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) is founded
  • 1967 - Mazda Cosmo 110S was one of first two mass-produced cars with Wankel rotary engine
  • 1969 - Honda's 1st car S500
  • 1980 - Japan surpassed the United States and became first in auto manufacturing
  • 1982 - Honda Accord becomes the first Japanese car built in the United States
  • 1986 - Acura is launched by Honda
  • 1989 - Lexus is launched by Toyota
  • 1989 - Infiniti is launched by Nissan
  • 1994 - Japan conceded to the United States back in auto manufacturing
  • 1997 - Toyota Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid car
  • 1997 - Toyota Corolla becomes the world's best-selling car
  • 2003 - Scion is launched by Toyota
  • 2006 - Japan surpassed the United States and became first in auto manufacturing again
  • 2008 - Toyota surpassed General Motors to become the world's largest car manufacturer
  • 2009 - Japan was beaten by China and became second in auto manufacturing
  • 2011 - Tohoku earthquake affects production
  • 2016 - Kumamoto earthquake affects production

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