History of Toyota


Toyota has built their own reputation by setting new standards in the automotive industry. The Toyota Camry and Corolla are two of their strongest models but additions like the Prius and now other hybrid models, including the RAV4 and Highlander, set Toyota above their competition. Lexus and Scion have both proven to be successful brands as well as the years have passed. With Toyota building off of their strong reputation and innovative lineup, the future is looking very bright for them. 
The idea behind Toyota began back in the 1930's when Kiichiro Toyoda, the future founder, and his father started experimenting with car engines in Japan. It wasn't until 1934 that they finished their first engine which they called Type A. They tested the Type A engine in different vehicles for about a year and then developed the Model A1 car in 1935. They also developed the Model G1 truck and both vehicles featured the Type A engine.  The next few years they spent testing their prototypes and decided to sell them. In 1937 the Toyota Motor Company was established. 
At first Toyota thrived on producing trucks for the Japanese Army which was especially important during World War II. Toyota continued to grow and they decided to expand their business overseas and in 1957 Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A Inc. was established. 

 
Toyota Goes to America 

The U.S.A Toyota headquarters started selling their vehicles in Hollywood, CA. The Toyopet Crown was the first ever Japanese car sold in the United States and with this, the era began. While sales of the Toyopet Crown weren't as high as Toyota had hoped, the Crown was discontinued in 1961 due to sales and pricing controversies. The Land Cruiser was on sale and still available in the U.S. and this SUV held the Toyota name until 1966 when the Corolla was introduced.  

The Corolla was the first imported vehicle that was designed specifically for the American market and the American drivers loved it. It was the Corolla that started setting standards for Toyota's name and started building its reputation. It established the high quality and reliable vehicle reputation that is still true today. By 1967 the sales of the Corolla led Toyota to be the third best-selling import brand in the United States! Since its release in 1966, the Corolla has become the world's all-time best-selling passenger car with over 30 million sold in more than 140 countries. 

Toyota Milestones Continue 

Toyota sold its 1 millionth vehicle in 1972 and only three short years later they surpassed Volkswagen and became the #1 import brand in the United States. Toyota's strong reputation grew stronger and allowed them to release some memorable marketing campaigns. These campaigns included "You asked for it/You got it!", "Oh, what a feeling" which launched the "Toyota Jump!" campaign that quickly became popular. Toyota's old catch phrase was "Moving Forward" but in the past few years have changed it to "Let's Go Places". 

In the 1970's the United States had an oil crisis which caused Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A to start exploring and researching fuel-efficient technologies. While this didn't pay off for them until 20 years later, this early research made a huge impact later down the road. Through the 70's, Toyota had exported more than 10 million vehicles. The 1980's were good to Toyota as more of our favorite models joined the lineup like the Camry sedan, 4Runner and MR2 Sports Car. Toyota established a new National Sales Headquarters in Torrance, CA which proved to be a great strategy for the company. In 1986, just four short years later, Toyota became the first import automaker to sell more than 1 million vehicles in America in a single year! This year was also when Toyota built its first vehicle on American soil, the Corolla FX16. Toyota had been in the United States for 30 years in 1987 and to celebrate and honor those 30 years, Toyota established the Toyota USA Foundation. 

Diversity in Brands and Models 

1989 proved to be another great year for Toyota when they launched their luxury line of vehicles under the name Lexus. The Toyota reputation quickly carried over to their luxury line making the Lexus LS 400 and ES250 immediate successes. In 1991 Lexus made its own history and was named the #1 luxury import brand in the United States surpassing the world-renown BMW and Mercedes-Benz brands. 

The Toyota Camry became the #1 selling passenger car in America in 1997 which is also when the history-making Toyota Prius was launched. Prius means 'to go before' in Latin and it did just that. It was a revolution for vehicles all over the world. It was the world's first mass-produced hybrid car and set high standards for fuel-efficient hybrids in the industry for many years to come. The Prius, to no surprise, was a success and only seven years later its sales reached one million. 

The Scion brand was launched by Toyota in 2003 and was modestly-priced and packed with features in every model. The Scion brand was targeted toward the youthful market which proved to be a success. In 2004 Toyota sold 2 million vehicles in a single year thanks to its sales in all three lines. 

The Innovation Continues 

To stay up with the current trend of fuel-efficient vehicles, Toyota has released many hybrid vehicles among the Toyota and Lexus lines. In 2005 Lexus launched the first-ever luxury hybrid car, the Lexus RX 400h. This same year Toyota launched a hybrid version of the Highlander which quickly became a success. 

When the recession hit the United States in 2008, Toyota was one of the few companies that was not struggling. Toyota became the #1 selling auto brand in America in 2008 and the Toyota Camry was named the #1 selling car in the nation. Toyota also surpassed General Motors to become the world's largest automaker for the first time in history. 

Today Toyota continues to expand and diversify their lineups among their brands. The RAV4 hybrid was introduced in 2015 and Toyota has said to expect more hybrid versions of our favorite models in the future. Toyota has continued to grow and expand over the life of the company and with its innovative technologies and great reputation, they'll continue to move in the right direction.