In 1933, the Toyota Automatic Loom Works started an automobile division. Several models, mostly experimental, were produced between 1935 and 1937. Automobile production started on a large scale in 1937 when the Toyota Motor Co. Ltd. was founded. The name for the automobile company was changed from the family name, Toyota, to Toyota, because a numerologist suggested that this would be a more favorable name to use for this endeavor. It must have been; by 1947, Toyota had produced 100,000 vehicles. Today Toyota is Japan's largest producer of motor vehicles and ranks among the largest in world production.
It was not until the late 1950s, that Toyota began exporting cars to the United States. Public reception of the Toyopet was rather cool. The car was heavy and under-powered by U.S. standards. Several other models were exported, including the almost indestructible Land Cruiser. It was not until 1965, however, with the introduction of the Corona sedan, that Toyota enjoyed a real success on the U.S. market.
Continual product improvement, a good dealer network, and an ability to blanket the economy end of the market are responsible for this success. Today, Toyota produces a full range of models, from the economical to the luxurious. The Celica is just an extension of Toyota's commitment to quality and customer satisfaction in the mid-sized sedan and station wagon market.
The most recent introduction to the Celica family came in the form of the All-Trac 4-Wheel Drive models, which appeared on the market in 1988. Basically, the All-Trac 4-Wheel Drive is the same as the conventional sedan in interior and exterior appearance; however, the chassis and drive train components have been modified to accept the new 4-Wheel Drive system. The All-Trac designation has been chosen for the United States and the 4-Wheel Drive designation has been selected for Canadian vehicles.