Toyota remains at the arc of one of the most impressive brand ascensions in recent business history. It now stands for unparalleled quality and product-line breadth and versatility not only in the U.S. market but worldwide. Established in 1937, Toyota helped lead Japan on its post-World War II industrial renaissance. By 1957, it had established a sales office in the United States. But it wouldn't be until the Seventies that the inexpensive Corolla subcompact would begin transforming the U.S. auto market by offering a unique combination of manufacturing quality, fuel efficiency and low price. By the mid-Eighties, General Motors was asking Toyota to establish a joint assembly plant in Fremont, Calif., so GM could learn the Japanese company's manufacturing secrets. Over subsequent years, Toyota's share of the American market continued to grow, and its Camry compact succeeded the Ford Taurus as the best-selling car in the U.S. for many consecutive years. Toyota also established a strong manufacturing and design base in the United States. In the Nineties, it broadened into a full-line provider with SUVs, pickup trucks and a minivan. The company again demonstrated its knack for effective pioneering by introducing the Prius four-seater, which quickly took the lead in the burgeoning U.S. hybrid market. By 2008, Toyota was challenging GM for overall global sales leadership.