Toyota was formed as an automotive company in 1937 as a spinoff from Toyota Industries, although the company's first car was actually produced in 1936: the Toyoda AA (Toyoda is the original family name behind the company). Toyota Motor operates the brands Toyota, Scion, Hino, Lexus, Ranz and owns controlling shares of Daihatsu as well as large stakes in Fuji Heavy Industries and Isuzu. Toyota itself is the largest automotive manufacturer by production volume, as of 2012, and has built more than 200 million vehicles since its founding. The company is still headed by members of the Toyoda family, currently Akio Toyoda, CEO. Toyota sales are global, with about 32 percent of them being in North America, 25 percent in Japan, 14 percent in Europe, and the rest split between other world regions.
Toyota has won acclaim for many things, not the least of which is their dedication to The Toyota Way: Challenge, Kaizen (improvement), Genchi Genbutsu (go and see), Respect and Teamwork. These have become corporate management hallmarks in many business studies and explorations and are the guideposts that have created the Toyota legacy for dependable products and innovative manufacturing. One of these hallmarks has been to move manufacturing to be near its sales point. To that point, nearly all Toyota vehicles sold in the U.S. are made in North America, with plants in Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana, Texas, West Virginia, Mississippi, British Columbia, and Ontario. Toyota is the sales leader in several vehicle segments, including hybrids, sedans, and crossovers. Its premium brand, Lexus, is the sales leader in luxury vehicles as well.
Among the many awards and accolades Toyota has received, its most prominent are its ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellend Awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its record as the most fuel-efficient domestically-manufactured fleet (corporate fleet average of 26.69 mpg in 2007) in the United States.