On October 31, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) held a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of its business in the U.S.
On October 31, 1957, Toyota established a sales company in Hollywood, California. Toyota’s 60-year history in the U.S. market began in this lone 3,000-square foot dealership.
Since then, the Japanese automaker has expanded its sales by introducing products in high demand by U.S. customers such as the Corolla in 1968, the Hilux and other commercial vehicles in 1969, and the Camry in 1983.
In addition, Lexus, established in 1989, was quickly established as a luxury brand due to rave reviews for its first-ever model, the LS400 (the first-generation Toyota Celsior, in Japan).
The 1980s was when Toyota’s manufacturing in the U.S. truly got underway. It began in 1984 with the establishment of New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), a joint venture with General Motors, which was followed in 1986 by the launch of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK), Toyota’s first wholly owned manufacturing facility in the U.S. In 2015, Toyota commenced local production of the ES, which became the first Lexus model to be assembled in the U.S.
TMNA CEO Jim Lentz said, “Celebrating our anniversary isn’t just about the products we’ve sold the last 60 years. It’s about celebrating Toyota’s thousands of employees who will help the company embark on the next leg of its American journey and continuing to improve our products and services for our customers.”
Written by Minoru Moriwaki
(Translated by Masayuki Shikata)