History Zone: Trace the Yaris’ origins from the 1950s, when Toyota started development on a small car for everyone.

1-October-2016

36 THE MAKING OF TOYOTA’S PEOPLE’S CAR Its roots can be traced to the 1950s, but as a true eco warrior, Toyota’s Yaris can lay claim to being much more than a car for the people. T oday the Yaris is one of Toyota’s most popular models, having sold millions of units over successive generations. But ever given any thought to where this delightful little car had its origins? The Yaris can trace its roots directly to around 60 years ago with the production of Toyota’s first ‘people’s car’, the Publica. But it was even earlier, in the 1950s – a good 10 years before the birth of the evergreen Corolla – that Toyota first turned its attention towards developing small cars. The company had always dreamed of making a car for the people, an affordably priced, mass-produced small car, but it wasn’t until after World War II that it finally had the chance to turn this dream into a reality. With a retail price set extremely low, it took six years of work and numerous prototypes until the resulting car debuted at the 1960 All- Japan Motor Show, today known as the Tokyo Motor Show. To build on excitement generated by the motor show, 20 16 and to bring the car closer to The Yaris in its 2016 form with Bi-tone paint treatment, where the black upper half of the car contrasts with the option of white, silver or red for the lower portion. Today the Yaris is a Toyota eco warrior which has its origins in Toyota’s first small car produced in the 1960s. the hearts of the people, Toyota advertised nationally, asking the public to name the car. Incredibly, more than one million people responded, and eventually the name Publica – a combination of public and car – was chosen. Toyota continued its promotional efforts after the car was released in 1961, using various events and campaigns to further etch the Publica into people’s minds, thereby ushering in a modern era of marketing in Japan. However, the Publica was not the initial success Toyota had hoped it would be. Post-war times


1-October-2016
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