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 15 million milestone in January 2020. 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 manufacture automobiles. Three years earlier, in 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it developed 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 20.02% stake in Subaru Corporation, a 5.9% stake in Isuzu until 2018, a 5.1% stake in Mazda, a 4.9% stake in Suzuki, 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.