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From humble beginnings manufacturing looms, Toyota has become one of the most widely known automobile manufacturers on the planet.
The history of the Toyota brand we know today begins in 1933 as an off shoot of the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works. It was during this time that the founder’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda, traveled the world and saw firsthand how automobile production worked. From there research into the gas powered combustible engine began.
Due to an impending war with China, the Japanese government encouraged the Toyoda family to begin developing their own line of vehicles. They obliged, and in 1935 the Model A1 passenger car was introduced, quickly followed by the G1 truck. The Model AA was started in 1936. By 1937 The Toyota Motor Company was established and became an entity separate from the loom business.
Toyota’s strength grew during WWII as the main supplier of trucks for the Japanese army. Once the war ended it took them years to recover and it was not until 1947 that they were able to release a new vehicle, the SA. On the verge of bankruptcy, they were given a loan by several banks. In addition, the Toyota Motor Company made massive layoffs and wage reductions resulting in a 2 month long strike. They again caught a wartime break when the United States commissioned the company to build over 5,000 cars and trucks to help their military in nearby Korea.
In 1957 the Toyota Crown became the first from the company to be exported to the United States. It was then that the American division of the company, Toyota Motor Sales Inc. was established. With headquarters in California, the American division of Toyota produced 288 Toyopet Crown sedans and 1 Land Cruiser in 1958.
The Toyopet failed miserably in the American market but the Land Cruiser was a huge hit and carried the Toyota brand for 7 years until they began producing the Toyota Corona in 1965. This air-conditioned vehicle with an automatic transmission tripled Toyotas American sales in just one year. In just 24 months, Toyota would become the 3rd best selling foreign brand in the U.S.
American drivers also loved the Toyota Corolla, which was introduced in 1968. Since then it has become the all time best selling passenger car in the entire world, with over 30 million sold in more than 140 countries. By 1972, Toyota inched past Volkswagen and took over the number one spot for imported car sales in the United States.
Continued success of the brand during the ‘70’s and ‘80’s led Toyota to build more plants in the U.S. and begin domestic production of its more popular models. In 1989 they entered the luxury car market with the debut of the Lexus LS 400 and ES 250. In only 2 years they beat out German competitors BMW and Mercedes to become the number 1 luxury import in the U.S.
Toyota entered into the new millennium with the world’s first mass produced hybrid car. It has continued to have success with all of its lines, including the revolutionary Scion which helped bring U.S. sales to over two million vehicles a year. Even during the recession, Toyota continued to thrive and overtook Chevy’s spot as the number 1 selling brand in America.
Year after year, Toyota continues to impress and amaze with an incredible line-up of cars that fit into every lifestyle.
4Runner – The new 4Runner features a modernized look with a more confident feel.
Avalon – One of the most reliable and luxurious family sized sedans on the market, the Avalon has the high quality and sophisticated style that you have come to expect from Toyota.
Camry – The Camry still remains one of the most coveted sedans in its class. With a starting package that includes 10 airbags and a 6 inch touch screen display for under $23,000 it is easy to see why.
Corolla – The redesigned 11th generation Corolla proves that even perfection can be improved upon.
FJ Cruiser – The understated FJ Cruiser epitomizes off road driving with a comfortable ride no matter what type of terrain you subject it to.
Highlander – The spacious full sized SUV is sporting a new stylish design with a cozy interior. The standard edition comes with 18’’ alloy wheels and an in dash shelf giving easy access to power supplies and USB ports.
Land Cruiser – Toyota’s longest running line and first success in America is still one of the most reliable and sought after vehicles on the road today.
Prius – Being first does not always mean best, but in this case there is currently no other hybrid vehicle on the road that can beat the Prius in style and performance.
RAV4 – A cutting edge body style has made the RAV4 one of the most popular crossovers in its class.
Sequoia – Toyota’s answer to the family that shies from the minivan. This versatile SUV has seating for eight with room to spare.
Sienna – The sleek minivan from Toyota has room for eight with plenty of space left over for all of the gear.
Tacoma – The Toyota pick-up is durable, rugged, powerful and affordable. Everything a man could want in a one of the most reliable trucks ever made.
Tundra – One of the largest and most powerful trucks offered in the prívate market, the Tundra delivers the high performance you expect from a Toyota in an over-sized yet sophistacted form.
Venza – Venza fits in perfectly with the family that wants more space than a sedan offers without the bulk of a minivan. Sporty yet stylish, the Venza delivers satisfaction.
Yaris – The Yaris is the Toyota that can get you around town in style and comfort without blowing your budget on gas.
In the grand scheme of the automotive industry, Toyota is a relatively young company that has made a significant contribution. With cars that are still popular after decades and new technological advances to keep up with the times, this baby car company is now all grown up.