Section 4. New Business Enterprises
Item 2. Initiatives in the Housing Business
Development of private homes
Toyota Motor Co., Ltd.'s full-fledged involvement in the housing business began in 1968. At the All-Toyota Technical Council held in December of that year, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. decided to establish dedicated teams in group companies to carry out specific evaluation activities. In February 1969, a housing R&D group was established inside the Corporate Planning Department of Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. and the decision was made that group companies would conduct development and prototyping separately. Thus, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. would build the base units, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. would make aluminum window frames and exterior components, and Nippondenso Co., Ltd. (now Denso Corporation) would make kitchen units and cooling/heating systems.
A single-story and a two-story prototype home were completed in 1975 and 1976, respectively. Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. established its new Housing Division in August 1975 and began selling the Toyota Office and Shop1 for commercial use in December of the same year.
Then, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. also completed the development of detached houses Model JA, a light-gauge steel frame type, and model KC, a steel-reinforced concrete type, and began marketing them under the Toyota Home brand in February 1977.
There had been high expectations2 that the housing business would become one of the major pillars of business for Toyota Motor Co., Ltd., but the prefabricated detached-house industry was already dominated by leading major home builders, making the barrier to success high.
Beginning in 1985, TMC enhanced its product line-up by improving the existing series of homes and adding upscale homes. Then in 1986, TMC launched steel framework homes on a full scale, in addition to conventional steel moment frame unit-constructed homes. Subsequently in 2000, TMC started marketing steel homes jointly developed with Nippon Steel Corporation (and constructed using TMC's proprietary method starting in 2005).
In response to the steady increase in the number of homes sold, Kasugai Housing Works, TMC's first plant specializing in housing, was completed in April 1987 in Kasugai City, Aichi Prefecture and commenced operation. Then, Tochigi Housing Works (in Tochigi City) and Yamanashi Housing Works (in Minami-Alps City), both housing-specific plants, were opened in 1989 and 1991, respectively, establishing an annual production capacity of 6,000 homes for the three plants combined.
In 1987, as the sales network was reorganized, Toyota Home Aichi Co., Ltd. and seven other dedicated housing sales companies, formed by making the housing sales operations of vehicle dealers independent, began operation. Starting in 1988, additional dedicated sales companies were established and a network of 33 outlets3 was built by 1991.