Japanese Car Brands
Japanese car brands appeared on the market relatively recently. Japanese cars did not exist in the 1940s. Companies like Toyota and Suzuki were involved in the production of looms. The first car produced by Mazda was modeled on the English Austin model. Other companies starting their development in the automotive industry tried to benefit from the experience of the Americans. All Japanese automotive companies took their names from the names of their founders. The original Mazda sounds more or less like “Matsuda”, in Toyoda’s name the sound of “d” has been transformed into the familiar “t”.
Founded: September 24, 1948
Founder: Soichiro Honda, Takeo Fujisawa
Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Honda is one of the most popular Japanese car brands that sell its cars on all continents. However, the Japanese company is not only a car manufacturer. Honda’s portfolio also includes motorcycles, scooters, jets, garden equipment, as well as various types of machinery and construction equipment. Honda is the largest manufacturer of engines for various vehicles and machines, including motorboats. The founder of the Honda brand is Soichiro Honda, who from an early age was fascinated by various types of machines and vehicles. The company’s flagship car, the Civic, was launched in 1972. Honda pioneered the creation of luxury divisions, introducing the Acura brand to the US market in 1986. Together with Toyota, the company strove to develop eco-friendly technologies and today most models are available with hybrid engines.
Founded: January 30, 1920
Founder: Jujiro Matsuda
Headquarters: Fuchu, Hiroshima, Japan
The Mazda company is one of the few car manufacturers that operates independently on the market, although both in the past and at present, Mazda has cooperated with various concerns. Mazda, also as one of the few car manufacturers, still relies heavily on the development of internal combustion engines. The history of the company dates back to 1920, when Jujiro Matsuda together with a group of investors founded Toyo Cork Kogyo in Hiroshima. Initially, the company was involved in the production of machine tools, other machines and parts for vehicles, and during World War II it also produced weapons for the Japanese army.
Founded: August 28, 1937
Founder: Kiichiro Toyoda
Headquarters: Toyota City, Japan
Parent organization: Toyota Group
Toyota is the second largest automotive concern in the world. Currently, the largest Japanese car concern, apart from Toyota, also includes such brands as Lexus, Daihatsu, Hino and Scion. At the same time, Toyota was the most popular car brand in 2018 with combined sales in all markets of more than 8.75 million units. The history of Toyota began in 1885, but its beginnings were not related to the automotive industry. Sakichi Toyoda founded a textile workshop, which in 1928 was transformed into Toyoda Spinning and Weaving, which largely contributed to revolutionizing the textile industry in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Founded: December 26, 1933
Founder: Yoshisuke Aikawa, Masujiro Hashimoto, William Gorham, Rokuro Aoyama
Headquarters: Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Parent organization: Groupe Renault
Nissan is the second most popular car brand from Japan, and together with Renault it forms one of the largest automotive concerns in the world, which is now more and more boldly competing with Toyota and Volkswagen for the palm of the world leader in terms of sales. Interestingly, Nissan is one of the few contemporary car brands, founded before World War II, which was involved in the production of cars from the very beginning.
Founder: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Headquarters: Minato City, Tokyo, Japan
Parent organizations: Mitsubishi Group, Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance
Mitsubishi is currently one of the largest Japanese industrial conglomerates, with different companies operating in various industries. Mitsubishi Electric, for example, produces solutions for industrial automation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the heavy industry and the military, Mitsubishi Chemical for the chemical industry, and Mitsubishi Motors for the automotive industry. For several years, the car brand Mitsubishi has been forming an alliance with Renault and Nissan, which is fighting for the title of the largest automotive company in the world. The history of Mitsubishi began in 1870 with the founding of Tsukumo by Yataro Iwasaki, which at the beginning of its activity mainly dealt with shipping services.
Founded: July 15, 1953
Founder: Kenji Kita
Headquarters: Shibuya City, Tokyo, Japan
Parent organization: Subaru Corporation
Japanese car brand was founded in 1953 and is partly owned by Toyota Motor Corporation. Currently, produced models include the Subaru Impreza, Subaru Forester and Subaru WRX. The company is known for the use of boxer engines.
Founded: October 1909
Founder: Michio Suzuki
Headquarters: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
Suzuki Motor Corporation, a Japanese company with more than 100 years of history, apart from car production, is now one of the world’s leaders in terms of motorcycle sales and various types of engines, including motor boat engines. The history of the Suzuki Company dates back to 1909, when 20-year-old Michio Suzuki founded a company that initially produced weaving looms. Suzuki is also a leader in the Kei-car segment in Japan.
Founded: 8 November 1989
Headquarters: Yokohama, Japan
Part of the Japanese concern Nissan, dealing with the production of luxury cars. The company started selling its cars in 1989 in the USA. Initially, it was present only on the American market and in the Middle East, but it quickly set off to conquer the rest of the world and for several years the manufacturer’s models have been distributed in over 50 countries. In 2012, Infiniti’s headquarters were moved to China, the largest buyer in this part of the globe.
Founded: September 1, 1989
Founder: Eiji Toyoda
Headquarters: Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Parent organization: Toyota
Lexus is Toyota’s luxury car brand that has been on the market since 1989. The main assumption behind its establishment was to compete with German premium car manufacturers, but also with Acura – Honda’s luxury brand that was founded three years earlier. Lexus cars can also be found today on race tracks, where they successfully compete for the top positions.
Founded: March 1, 1951
Founder: Saneyasu Oka, Yoshiaki Yasunaga, Seishiro Tsurumi, Masashi Kuwabara, Zenjiro Takeuchi
Headquarters: Ikeda, Osaka, Japan
Parent organization: Toyota
It is one of the oldest Japanese automotive concerns. Currently, known primarily for its off-road vehicles, but in the past the production focused mainly on small trucks, buses and delivery vans. The company was founded in 1907 in Osaka. The company has been cooperating with Toyota since 1967, and in June 2016 it was fully taken over by it.
Founded: March 27, 1986
Founder: Giovanni Agnelli
Headquarters: Minato City, Tokyo, Japan
Parent organization: Honda Motor Company
Subsidiary: Acura A-Spec and Type-S models
Japanese brand of luxury cars, belonging to the Honda concern. The company’s history dates back to 1986 – it is the first manufacturer of exclusive cars in this part of the world. In 2016, it sold over 160,000 vehicles in the US market. In Europe, the company’s models can currently only be purchased – by special order – through the British dealer network
Founded: February 1, 1968
Headquarters: Toyama, Toyama, Japan
From the very beginning, the company was associated with the automotive industry, but did not deal with the production of its own vehicles until 1981. In 1982, the first project was completed. It was a single seater, small vehicle aptly named Bubu 501, equipped with a small engine with a capacity of 50 cm3, packed in a body in the shape of a strange capsule. Later it only got better. Mitsuoka began producing replicas, and then cars stylistically modeled after the British automotive of the 1950s and 1960s.
Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Parent company: Nissan
It is an automobile brand owned by Nissan. For the first time, vehicles under this brand appeared in 1931, and the history of production begins in 1911. Nissan abandoned the brand in 1986, and revived it again in 2013 to make cars for emerging markets.