Toyota is a massive Japanese automobile conglomerate that has been observed to be the world's largest manufacturer of vehicles in terms of production and the thirteenth-largest manufacturer in the world. Boasting well over three hundred thousand employees across the globe and numerous factories, Toyota is also the largest domestic Japanese company by market capitalization and is a prominent entity on both the Japanese and the global stock market indices.
Toyota's history began in in 1937 when it was founded by a man named Kiichiro Toyoda. The company began manufacturing vehicles as early as the late 1930s and as the name Toyoda is literally translated as meaning "fertile rice paddies", the brand was soon changed to "Toyota" to avoid the company being thought of as overly traditional. While the industry was understandably curtailed by the inception of the Second World War, Toyota survived and finally entered into the American and foreign markets by 1957. In direct response to heavy tariffs placed upon the importation of vehicles by the United States durig the 1970s, Toyota began building plants within the country, thus spurring its full entry into the American (and soon after, the global) marketplace.
Recently, unfortunate events have taken their toll on the company including the worldwide financial crisis and the 2011 Tohuku earthquake. Production was severely curtailed and the company moderately suffered. However, Toyota is still one of the largest and most valuable automobile manufacturers in the world and with their production of affordable and energy-efficient vehicles, the company will continue to enjoy success into the future.