A wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor North America is the holding company for all of its parent's North American operations, covering sales, engineering, and manufacturing subsidiaries from offices in New York, Miami, and Washington, DC. It oversees functions related to government and regulatory affairs, energy, economic research, philanthropy, advertising, corporate communications, and investor relations. Through its manufacturing operations, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Toyota builds vehicles and parts at a dozen plus plants in North America.
North American drivers, which constitute almost 30% of Toyota's automotive sales, are (next to the Japanese) the carmaker's most significant market.
The company aims to localize design and manufacture of vehicles and their parts in markets in which they are sold, sidestepping exchange rate fluctuations, as well as tariffs and trade restrictions that drive up unit costs. Only about 60% of the Toyotas sold in the US are actually manufactured in the US -- rival Honda averages more than 85% and Nissan 80%.
Additionally, Toyota has been rolling out smaller, more fuel-efficient cars to the North American market such as the company's four-cylinder Scion brand, which gets about 66 mpg. Toyota wants its Scion to compete with the Daimler counterpart, the smart car as well as the Kia Soul.