Who Owns Toyota? History, Ownership, & FAQ
Car brands are often rolled up into large groups, which makes keeping track of their ownership confusing. Brands that seem to have no relation to one another will often be discovered to be owned by the same parent company. For example, the same company owns Dodge, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Peugeot, and Vauxhall. That company is Stellantis, and it is a multinational corporation with brands from the United States and Europe. These interesting quirks of the automobile industry have many people asking which brand actually owns which other brands.
Toyota is the largest car company in Japan. Toyota produces millions of cars per year. That begs the question, who owns Toyota? Is Toyota a part of one of these massive international business amalgamations?
The answer is no; Toyota is not a part of a large overarching car group. They are independently owned, and they have been since 1933 when they were founded as a textile loom company.
The Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota’s official name is the Toyota Motor Corporation. In Japanese, the company is called Toyota Jidōsha KK. These two names refer to the same company that most people simply know as Toyota. Toyota was founded in 1933 by Toyoda Kiichiro, who the company is named after. Toyota has its headquarters in Toyota City in Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation is the owner and operator of the global Toyota brand. Toyota is not owned or controlled by any other entity.
The car brand Toyota is the flagship and mainstay of the Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyota Motor Corporation is technically the parent company, but it grew out of Toyota itself, and now the two are synonymous with one another.
Toyota is a publicly traded company that has stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. In that regard, Toyota could be considered owned by the shareholders and investors that control large portions of the company’s public sector. Toyota trades under the code TM, and today the company has over 370,000 employees worldwide.
Another mainstay car company that remains independently owned and operated without being attached to a large conglomerate is the Ford Motor Company. Toyota and Ford are similar in that respect.
Part of Toyota Group
Toyota Motor Corporation is a part of the Toyota Group. Toyota Group is a large business partnership between various different brands and companies. Unlike the European motor groups that outright own massive brands in a large portfolio, Toyota Group is more of a strong partnership. No brand or company within the group retains ownership or control over the others. The group was founded to benefit Toyota as a whole, but the group is still made up of largely independent parts rather than full subsidiaries. Some parts of the group, such as Toyota Auto Body, are owned entirely by Toyota Motor Corporation. However, other parts like Aichi Steel and Aisin are only partly owned by Toyota and make components for the car company.
In Japan, groups like this are known as keiretsu, and they are fairly unique to the country. The keiretsu is a modern evolution of the old zaibatsus that controlled large sections of the Japanese economy before World War II.
Toyota Motor Corporation is a part of Toyota Group, but they are not owned or controlled by Toyota Group.
Who Does Toyota Own?
Does Toyota own any other car companies? Are they the face of a large car conglomerate like Volkswagen in Europe? The answer to that is no. Toyota does have some minor subsidiaries, but they are largely Japanese brands that are sold entirely in Japan. The Toyota Motor Corporation has five brands that operate under its masthead. Volkswagen, for example, has 10 brands under its parent company. Stellantis, the company we mentioned earlier, owns 16 global brands.
The five brands owned by Toyota are Daihatsu, Hino, Ranz, Lexus, and Toyota. In the United States, most buyers will be familiar with Lexus, which is Toyota’s luxury brand, as well as Toyota, which is the namesake car brand under the Toyota Motor Corporation. Daihatsu was bought by Toyota in 2016 and is the oldest combustion engine manufacturer in Japan. They make small cars, trucks, and bikes primarily for the Japanese market.
Hino is Toyota’s heavy truck and bus division which makes the Japanese equivalent of semi-trucks. Ranz is an electric car company focused on the nearby Chinese market. Those are all of the car brands that Toyota Motor Corporation owns and controls. Compared to other groups, Toyota does not have that many brands, but they still sell nearly 9 million units per year.
The car brand Toyota is a part of Toyota Motor Corporation which is a large company that spawned out of Toyota decades ago. Unlike some other major car brands, Toyota is not owned or controlled by another large company. They are owned and operated by themselves. Toyota owns a total of five brands, mostly Japanese, including Toyota itself. Next time someone asks you who owns Toyota, you can readily answer that Toyota owns Toyota. That is very easy to remember.
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