Toyota has grown to a large multinational corporation from where it started and expanded to different worldwide markets and countries by becoming the largest seller of cars in the beginning of 2007, the most profitable automaker ($11 billion in 2006) along with increasing sales in, among other countries, the United States. The world headquarters of Toyota are located in its home country in Toyota, Aichi, Japan. Its subsidiary, Toyota Financial Services sells financing and participates in other lines of business. Toyota brands include Scion and Lexus and the corporation is part of the Toyota Group. Toyota also owns majority stakes in Daihatsu, and 8.7% of Fuji Heavy Industries, which manufactures Subaru vehicles. They also acquired 5.9% of Isuzu Motors Ltd. on November 7, 2006 and will be introducing Isuzu diesel technology into their products.
Toyota has introduced new technologies including one of the first mass-produced hybrid gas-electric vehicles, of which it says it has sold 1 million globally (2007-06-07) , Advanced Parking Guidance System (automatic parking), a four-speed electronically controlled automatic with buttons for power and economy shifting, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Toyota, and Toyota-produced Lexus and Scion automobiles, consistently rank near the top in certain quality and reliability surveys, primarily J.D. Power and Consumer Reports.
In 2005, Toyota, combined with its half-owned subsidiary Daihatsu Motor Company, produced 8.54 million vehicles, about 500,000 fewer than the number produced by GM that year. Toyota has a large market share in the United States, but a small market share in Europe. Its also sells vehicles in Africa and is a market leader in Australia. Due to its Daihatsu subsidiary it has significant market shares in several fast-growing Southeast Asian countries.
In the Fortune Global 500, Toyota Motor is the 6th largest company in the world. Since the recession of 2001, it has gained market share in the United States. Toyota’s market share struggles in Europe where its Lexus brand has three tenths of one percent market share, compared to nearly two percent market share as the U.S. luxury segment leader.
In the first three months of 2007, Toyota together with its half-owned subsidiary Daihatsu reported number one sales of 2.348 million units. Toyota’s brand sales had risen 9.2% largely on demand for Corolla and Camry sedans. The difference in performance was largely attributed to surging demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. In November 2006, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas added a facility in San Antonio. Toyota has experienced quality problems and was reprimanded by the government in Japan for its recall practices. Toyota currently maintains over 16% of the US market share and is listed second only to GM in terms of volume. Toyota Century is the official state car of the Japanese imperial family, namely for the Emperor of Japan Akihito.