Sometimes the name can fool you. When one hears the name Toyota most people automatically think of cars. That is the product the company is famous for making. You can find a Toyota car in almost every country in the world. Its lesser-known products are looms and sewing machines.
Are Toyota sewing machines good? It is hard to separate the company from the cars it is famous for and the sewing machines they produce. The company still makes electronic sewing machines today and from all accounts, they are as good as their cars.
To learn more about Toyota sewing machines, just continue to read our article. It will separate the cars from the sewing machines and let you know more about those products and their value.
This company has an interesting history as so many of its earlier and current products intertwine with each other. In the beginning, Toyota was making looms and in 1933 the founder’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda, was given the job of starting a car production company.
He was given the support of the Japanese government as it needed vehicles in its military expansion effort in the Asian theater. The first car was made in 1936 and the company produced cars only throughout the war.
After the war, Kiichiro Toyoda saw that the car company needed a solid foundation to make it profitable and last for a long time. He turned to the idea of making sewing machines because everyone needed clothes.
With that thought, his company made its first sewing machine n 1946. Mr. Toyoda used the same high standards for making sewing machines as he did his cars and each model had to look as good as it performed.
The first model was the HA-1 and to some people, it looked like an old Singer sewing machine made at that time. If true that would not be a surprise as almost all Japanese sewing machine companies used Singer models to make their sewing machines.
What gave the Toyota sewing machine the edge over its competition was that the company made sure those machines had strong motors and could sew through several layers of denim fabric with ease.
In almost 75 years since that first machine was made, the sewing machine wing of Toyota has operated under the motto “Quality Supremacy, User Friendliness and Elegant Appearance” and that motto has guided their craftsmanship ever since.
This is one of the unique things that global conglomerate corporations have. They are mainly known for one or two products and the rest of what they do slides under the radar unless you happen to work in an industry the global entity makes products for.
Toyota is no different as they are famous for cars and not famous for their looms and sewing machines. The Toyota founder used sewing machine production to sustain his automobile division.
What that means is that while he saw the future for vehicles, he also saw that the company could not stand on its own two feet at this young stage. So he started to produce sewing machines, and one reason maybe was that they were more affordable than cars were and he could keep the car factories running with the revenue from the sewing machine sales.
He was right as Toyota has developed its car division into being one of the best car manufacturers in the world. The founder just let the cars get the fame while quietly supporting the car division by continuing to make sewing machines.
This is another well-kept secret as the internet websites looking into Toyota’s history focus on the car making side of the company and ignore the sewing machine and loom industries.
We mention looms quite frequently here because this was the industry that started it all for Toyota. And the company still produces looms with its textile division. This division was started in 1926 by Sakichi Toyoda and the company still thrives today as does the sewing machine making division does.
Toyota sewing machines have been popular in Europe and may not have made great inroads in the American market until quite recently. One of the better models this company makes is The Toyota Oekaki Renaissance.
This model scores high on almost all the scales used to judge sewing machines. Its deep red color is very attractive and comes with 50 stitch patterns. Toyota is not sparing any expenses as it maintains its original vision for its sewing machines even though they are not as famous as their cars.
While the company in general has held many partnerships with different companies, it seems that Toyota itself remains an independent corporation and still makes its own sewing machines.
This company is often linked together with the Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., corporation but Toyota owns 51% of Aisin Seiki stock and not the other way around. That ownership stake means that Toyota remains an independent company making its sewing machines under its strict protocols.
While the sewing machine division may not be famous, it has reached a global presence as it markets its models throughout the world. Those machines compete at the same level as Toyota’s sewing machine competitors do. Plus, it holds its own against Janome, Juki, Bernina, Brother, and other top sewing machine brands.
Aisin Seiki is a subsidiary that makes component parts for different famous companies so it is likely that they make some of the components put inside a Toyota sewing machine. It is hard to say on that but that is as far as it goes with who makes these sewing machines.
The motto “Quality Supremacy, User Friendliness, and Elegant Appearance” provides you with an idea behind the attitude of this company. It reminds its employees that they need to work at their best levels and produce top quality products at all times.
One of the reasons this motto and attitude are so important is that Japan and its people are part of the losing face culture. If anyone loses face in the corporation because they turned out inferior sewing machines, then that person loses his or her authority and is rendered impotent leadership wise.
This is a very important factor in Japanese living. Losing face means a loss of privilege, a loss of status, and even a loss of income. Some Japanese take this cultural fact to its extreme application and commit suicide when it happens to them.
That insight is a driving force behind the Toyota production and business operations. It also explains why Toyota has succeeded in so many different industries. Nothing but the best will do.
It also explains why so many Toyota sewing machines score high when judged by others. An inferior machine can have a devastating effect on Toyota employees.
The original machines were produced in Japan under the guiding eye of the founder of the Toyota car company. When they branched out and built other factories is not clearly known.
We have checked several websites associated with the company and one has stated that it has closed its American facility for good. So some of the machines or their parts were made in the US.
It is possible that Toyota has followed its competitors and have opened factories in South East Asia. Cost is always important and if Toyota watches its bottom line like it does the quality levels of its products, then the company will open up factories in countries that offer the cheapest costs including labor.
There seems to be a European division but their website does not make any mention of where the sewing machines are made. It is also possible that any worldwide factories focus on making parts keeping the cost of repairs low for all of their customers no matter where they are found.
No matter where Toyota makes its sewing machines, the motto guides its construction as does the loss of faced culture. You can rest knowing that Toyota cares about the products it builds.
You may be surprised to know that some of the early Toyota sewing machine models were manufactured under the Elite Sewing machine company name. This was back in the late 1970s approx and Toyota used that company to sell its product in America.
They have continued to use that name up until at least 2000. Toyota may have also had a hand in the old Morse sewing machine as one of their earlier models had that model name.
Another nice older model was the 401A which came with a variety of stitch patterns and other features. A more modern model is The Classic which retails for approx. $150 and comes with a simple design for beginners to learn on. There is also the Comfort and The Expert in this series.
In addition to those, there is the Eco series and the Quilt versions making sure all sewers get a top-quality machine to handle their specific sewing projects. The company also has produced and continues to make overlook, machines, sergers, heavy-duty and industrial models.
This company seems to make some very good sewing machines. The models we have looked at, both vintage and modern, seem to have all the right features and functions that make using them easy and practical.
The Toyota reputation helps view the machines as they should be seen, top quality sewing machines that are durable and strong. The early machines may have looked like Singers but the Japanese touch made them better.
Also color and design have been an important part of the Toyota sewing machine as the founder of this branch of the company said those machines had to look good. That attitude has been used throughout the past 70 years of production.
Each machine has enough stitch patterns to accommodate the user from beginner to experienced. That is a plus when you are making sewing machines in a highly competitive market and industry.
With a variety of categories of sewing machines, Toyota has proven that it can make top machines for almost any need. Those who like making quilts have their special machine and that is another good point for the company.
The reviews that we have seen of the different Toyota sewing machines have been favorable. From their early years, Toyota has striven to create and produce the best quality machine possible.
Their early machines for the most part, and if they can be found, can still work today performing the same tasks they did almost 60 years ago. That means those machines have been built properly and made to last.
The more modern versions are produced under the same care and stringent standards making them one of the finer machines ever built. Great care is given to their design and looks as well as making sure the parts are superb and durable.
We can say that most Toyota machines are on par with their competitors and do not suffer from inferior craftsmanship. If they did no one would buy a Toyota sewing machine and their other products may suffer as well.
We have said this over and over, the best Toyota or other sewing machine is the one that you like and performs to your expectations as well as does a good job for you. This category is very subjective as different people use different Toyota sewing machines.
One person may like the SL3335 overlocker because of all the functions it can perform while many may prefer the Classic because of its simplicity and ease of use. Still, more may like the Oekaki Renaissance because of its many features and modern look.
We are of no opinion of which is the best Toyota sewing machine because we have not tried them all and can only go by what other people say about them. If you want a top computerized option then the Oekaki series would be the best.
What you need to do is to test drive the sewing machines that fit your sewing projects and make your own determination. Your skills may bring out the best qualities in those machines and set one apart from the rest.
For older sewing machines, you should look on eBay’s website. They seem to have quite a few vintage machines for sale there and at different prices. Those prices range between $100 to $400.
Other vintage sewing machines may be found at sewing machine repair shops and antique stores. You may also find them at an estate or garage sales, thrift stores, or discount outlets.
Depending on where you live in the world, you should be able to find Toyota sewing machines at authorized dealers, department stores, and even places like Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and other sewing and fabric outlets.
The big-box stores may also carry a few models and may be able to order more if they do not have the one you want. Of course, there is the old stand by of Craigslist, online and hard copy classified ads, and other sewing machine websites. Amazon had one for a while.
Then you can always check with family and friends to see if they know of any stores selling new Toyota sewing machines. The list of possibilities is endless as the internet is always full of online stores and affiliates that market these machines.
This is not a hard task to do as some of the places mentioned in the previous section would apply here. There is eBay which seems to always have used sewing machines for sale with many of them Toyotas. Right now there are about 10 to 20 of them up for sale on that website.
You can check the traditional auction houses to see what they have or go to an estate, yard, or garage sales and try your luck at those options. If you do not want to face traffic, then you can try online classified ads like Craigslist and newspapers that have an online presence.
Friends and families are always a good source to find leads as are sewing machine repair shops and antique stores. You have plenty of options to choose from including online sewing machine companies.
You may not have realized that Toyota makes more than cars. If you like the quality of their vehicles you should like the quality of their sewing machines. They are produced under the same standards.
Plus, they come in different models to meet the needs of beginners as well as professional sewers. You should not be disappointed with your Toyota sewing machine as it should last for years.