Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. In 2017, Toyota’s corporate structure consisted of 364,445 employees worldwide and, as of December 2019, was the tenth-largest company in the world by revenue.
Toyota is the second largest automobile manufacturer in the world, behind Volkswagen, based on 2018 unit sales. Toyota was the world’s first automobile manufacturer to produce more than 10 million vehicles per year, which it has done since 2012, when it also reported the production of its 200-millionth vehicle. As of July 2014, Toyota was the largest listed company in Japan by market capitalization (worth more than twice as much as number 2-ranked SoftBank) and by revenue.
Toyota is the global market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles, and one of the largest companies to encourage the mass-market adoption of hybrid vehicles across the globe. Toyota is also a market leader in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Cumulative global sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid passenger car models achieved the 10 million milestone in January 2017. Its Prius family is the world’s top-selling hybrid nameplate with over 6 million units sold worldwide as of January 2017.
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 its first passenger car in 1936, the Toyota AA. Toyota Motor Corporation produces vehicles under five brands, including the Toyota brand, Hino, Lexus, Ranz, and Daihatsu. It also holds a 16.66% stake in Subaru Corporation, a 5.9% stake in Isuzu until 2018, a 5.5% stake in Mazda, as well as joint-ventures with two in China (GAC Toyota and Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor), one in India (Toyota Kirloskar), one in the Czech Republic (TPCA), along with several “nonautomotive” companies. TMC is part of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Japan.
The main headquarters of Toyota is located in a 4-story building in Toyota. As of 2006, the head office has the “Toyopet” Toyota logo and the words “Toyota Motor”. The Toyota Technical Center, a 14-story building, and the Honsha plant, Toyota’s second plant engaging in mass production and formerly named the Koromo plant, are adjacent to one another in a location near the headquarters. Vinod Jacob from The Hindu described the main headquarters building as “modest”. In 2013, company head Akio Toyoda reported that it had difficulties retaining foreign employees at the headquarters due to the lack of amenities in the city.
In 1981, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. announced plans to merge with its sales entity Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. Since 1950, the two entities had existed as separate companies as a prerequisite for reconstruction in postwar Japan. Shoichiro Toyoda presided over Toyota Motor Sales in preparation for the consummation of the merger that occurred in 1982. Shoichiro then succeeded his uncle Eiji as the president of the combined organization that then became known as Toyota Motor Corporation.
Toyota, which earlier was the world’s third-largest automotive manufacturer behind American General Motors and Ford, produced for the first time in history more vehicles than Ford in 2005, and in 2006 even more than General Motors and has been the world’s largest automotive manufacturer since then, except in 2011 when, triggered by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, it fell to the number 3 position behind General Motors and German Volkswagen Group.