Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational automaker headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. In 2010, Toyota employed 300,734 people worldwide, and was the third-largest automobile manufacturer in 2011 by production behind General Motors and Volkswagen Group. Toyota is the eleventh-largest company in the world by revenue. In July 2012, the company reported it had manufactured its 200-millionth vehicle.
The company was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product, the Type A engine, and, in 1936, its first passenger car, theToyota AA. Toyota Motor Corporation group companies are Toyota (including the Scion brand), Lexus, Daihatsu, and Hino Motors, along with several "nonautomotive" companies. TMC is part of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
In 1982, the Toyota Motor Company and Toyota Motor Sales merged into one company, the Toyota Motor Corporation. Two years later, Toyota entered into a joint venture with General Motors called the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc, NUMMI, operating an automobile-manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. The factory was an old General Motors plant that had been closed for two years. Toyota then started to establish new brands at the end of the 1980s, with the launch of their luxury division Lexus in 1989.
In the 1990s, Toyota began to branch out from producing mostly compact cars by adding many larger and more luxurious vehicles to its lineup, including a full-sized pickup, the T100 (and later the Tundra); several lines of SUVs; a sport version of the Camry, known as the Camry Solara; and theScion brand, a group of several affordable, yet sporty, automobiles targeted specifically to young adults. Toyota also began production of the world's best-selling hybrid car, the Prius, in 1997.
In 2001, Toyota's Toyo Trust and Banking merged with two other banks to form UFJ Bank, which was accused of corruption by Japan's government for making bad loans to alleged Yakuza crime syndicates with executives accused of blocking Financial Service Agency inspections. The UFJ was listed among Fortune Magazine's largest money-losing corporations in the world, with Toyota's chairman serving as a director. At the time, the UFJ was one of the largest shareholders of Toyota. As a result of Japan's banking crisis, UFJ merged with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi to become theMitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.
In 2002, Toyota managed to enter a Formula One works team and establish joint ventures with French motoring companies Citroën and Peugeot a year after Toyota started producing cars in France.
Toyota ranked eighth on Forbes 2000 list of the world's leading companies for the year 2005 but slid to 55 for 2011. The company was number one in global automobile sales for the first quarter of 2008.
In 2007, Toyota released an update of its full-size truck, the Tundra, produced in two American factories, one in Texas and one in Indiana. "Motor Trend" named the Tundra "Truck of the Year," and the 2007 Toyota Camry "Car of the Year" for 2007. It also began the construction of two new factories, one to build the RAV4 in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, and the other to build the Toyota Prius in Blue Springs, Mississippi, USA. This plant was originally intended to build the Toyota Highlander, but Toyota decided to use the plant in Princeton, Indiana, USA, instead. The company has also found recent success with its smaller models—the Corolla and Yaris—as gasoline prices have risen rapidly in the last few years.
In October 2012, Toyota announced a recall of 7.43 million vehicles worldwide to fix malfunctioning power window switches, the largest recall since that of Ford Motor Company in 1996. The move came after a series of recalls between 2009...