Toyota is perhaps the largest car manufacturer that no one notices.
The company was a relative latecomer to the automotive industry, but it created many American and European competitors to become one of the largest automakers in the world. It sells the vast majority of vehicles under just two brands – Toyota and Lexus – as opposed to highly diversified competitors such as Volkswagen.
But even though it is the largest, the conservative cars have not traditionally caught the attention of more daring competitors. Toyota cars may have a strong reputation for reliability and good value, but they are better known for practical vehicles than they are for dazzlingly beautiful designs or frighteningly powerful engines.
Now the carmaker sings money on sports cars like the two-track Supra, and performance brands such as Gazoo Racing and Toyota Racing Development. It's all part of a plan to get drivers excited about Toyota at a time when automakers are trying to plan for a potentially turbulent future in transportation.