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Toyota Motor Corporation is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan. Toyota is the World's largest automaker since second-half 2007, ahead of the United States based General Motors. Toyota is the only car manufacturer to appear in the top 10 of the BrandZ name recognition ranking.
In 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product Type A engine and its first passenger car (the Toyota AA) in 1936. The company was founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Toyota owns and operates Toyota, Lexus, Scion brands and has a majority shareholding in Daihatsu Motors, and has minority shareholdings in Fuji Heavy Industries, Isuzu Motors, and the engine, motorcycle and marine craft manufacturer Yamaha Motors. The company includes 522 subsidiaries.
Toyota is headquartered in Toyota and Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture and in Tokyo. It also provides financial services through its division Toyota Financial Services and also creates robots besides automobiles. The company along with the original Toyota Industries form bulk of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
In 1933, Toyoda Automatic Loom Works created a new division devoted to the production of automobiles under the direction of the founder's son, Kiichiro Toyoda. Kiichiro Toyoda had traveled to Europe and the United States in 1929 to investigate automobile production and had begun researching gasoline-powered engines in 1930.