Toyota's main plant, the Tsutsumi plant, is located here. The longstanding ties between the Toyota Motor Corporation and the town of Toyota-shi, formerly known as Koromo (挙母市 Koromo-shi), gave the town its current name.
The area of present-day Toyota city has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and archaeologists have found a continuous record of artifacts from the Japanese paleolithic period onwards. In early proto-historic times, the area was under the control of the Mononobe clan, who built numerous kofun burial mounds. The local place name “Koromo” is mentioned in the Kojiki and other early Japanese documents.
During the Edo period, parts of the area of the current city were under the control of Koromo Domain, a feudal han under the Tokugawa shogunate; however, most of the area of the current city was tenryō territory controlled directly by the government in Edo and administered through hatamoto class appointed administrators. The village of “Tokugawa”, from which Tokugawa Ieyasu took his clan name, was located within what is now the city of Toyota.
The area was a major producer of silk and prospered from the Meiji period through the Taishō periods. As the demand for raw silk declined in Japan and abroad, Koromo entered a period of gradual decline after 1930. The decline encouraged Kiichiro Toyoda, cousin of Eiji Toyoda, to look for alternatives to the family's automatic loom manufacturing business. The search led to the founding of what became the Toyota Motor Corporation.
On March 1, 1951, Koromo gained city status, and absorbed the village of Takahashi from Nishikamo District on September 30, 1956. Due to the fame and economic importance of its major employer, the city of changed its name to Toyota on January 1, 1959.
Toyota became a sister city with Detroit, Michigan, United States in 1960. It continued to expand by annexing the towns of Kamigo (Hekikai District) on March 1, 1964, and Takaoka (Hekikai District) on September 1, 1965, and Sanage (Nishikamo District) on April 1, 1967, as well as the village of Matsudaira (Higashikamo District) on April 1, 1970.
Toyota became a Core City in 1998, with increased local autonomy.
On April 1, 2005, Toyota absorbed the town of Fujioka, the village of Obara (both from Nishikamo District), the towns of Asuke, Asahi and Inabu, and the village of Shimoyama (all from Higashikamo District) to create the new and expanded city of Toyota.