Toyota Motor Corporation (Japanese: トヨタ自動車株式会社, Hepburn: Toyota Jidōsha kabushiki gaisha, IPA: [toꜜjota], English: , commonly known as simply Toyota) is a multinational automotive manufacturer headquartered in the city of Toyota in Japan's Aichi Prefecture. It was founded by Kiichiro Toyoda and incorporated on August 28, 1937 (1937-08-28). Toyota is one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world, producing about 10 million vehicles per year.
The company was as a spinoff of Toyota Industries, a machine maker started by Sakichi Toyoda, Kiichiro's father. Both companies are now part of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world. While still a department of Toyota Industries, the company developed its first product, the Type A engine in 1934 and its first passenger car in 1936, the Toyota AA.
After World War II, Toyota benefited from Japan's alliance with the United States to learn from American automakers and other companies, which would give rise to The Toyota Way (a management philosophy) and the Toyota Production System (a lean manufacturing practice) that would transform the small company into a leader in the industry and would be the subject of many academic studies.
In the 1960s, Toyota took advantage of a rapidly growing Japanese economy to sell cars to a growing middle-class, leading to the development of the Toyota Corolla, which would go on to become the world’s all-time best-selling automobile. The booming economy also funded an international expansion that would allow Toyota to grow into one of the largest automakers in the world, the largest company in Japan and the ninth-largest company in the world by revenue, as of December 2020. Toyota was the world's first automobile manufacturer to produce more than 10 million vehicles per year, a record set in 2012, when it also reported the production of its 200 millionth vehicle.
Toyota was praised for being a leader in the development and sales of more fuel efficient hybrid electric vehicles, starting with the introduction of the Toyota Prius in 1997.