Back in 2006, Toyota was the first non-American company to crack Fortune's list as one of the Most Admired Companies in America by coming in at number nine. A year later, they jumped up to number three on the list. This year, they remain on the list at the fifth position, despite posting huge sales gains worldwide and passing Ford as the second largest seller of automobiles in America. Of course, not everything has been roses for Toyota along the way, but it's hard to argue that the automaker's ascendancy hasn't been well-earned.
The list changes a bit when the rest of the world's admirers are counted too. Toyota remains high on that list staking out the number two spot overall, while the only other automaker in the top ten is BMW at number nine. We would have expected to see Honda higher than number 23, considering that they are quite successful in both the automotive and the motorcycle market, as well as being the largest manufacturer of engines in the world. It's notable that no American car companies made either list, but several American suppliers, including Visteon, Delphi, Federal Mogul, Dana, ArvinMeritor and Navistar showed up on the "least admired" list for 2007 and 2008. On the positive side, though: there's no place to go but up.