Toyota Celebrates 50th Anniversary In America
This October, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. is celebrating its 50th year of doing business in the United States.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., was formed October 31, 1957, establishing its headquarters in a former Rambler dealership in Hollywood, Calif. Sales began in 1958 and totaled a modest 288 vehicles that first year -- 287 Toyopet Crown sedans and one Land Cruiser.
Today, Toyota produces nine vehicles in the United States, including the Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, Sienna, Solara, Sequoia, Tacoma and the Tundra. Toyota operates 10 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and builds approximately half the vehicles it sells here. Recently, Toyota announced it will build its 11th U.S. vehicle assembly plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi.
In nine of the past 10 years, the Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America. Assembled at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant, more than six million Camry models have been sold in the United States since its debut more than 20 years ago.
Toyota began its full-scale American motorsports involvement 25 years ago in both IMSA sports cars, and off-road stadium and desert truck racing. Along the way, Toyota has won championships and races in the Champ Car and Indy Racing League (IRL) open-wheel ranks, as well as in sports cars, off-road racing and the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb.
Toyota began competing in NASCAR in the 2000 Goody’s Dash Series and became a participant in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2004. This year, Toyota entered the Camry in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series competition, in addition to continued participation in the Craftsman Truck Series with the Tundra.
Teams utilizing the Camry this year in NEXTEL Cup competition include Bill Davis Racing (Dave Blaney and Jeremy Mayfield), Michael Waltrip Racing (Dale Jarrett, David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip) and Team Red Bull (AJ Allmendinger and Brian Vickers). Braun Racing (Jason Leffler) and Michael Waltrip Racing (David Reutimann) are Camry regulars in the Busch Series.
Highlights from Toyota’s NASCAR activities include the 2003 Dash Series driver’s title (Robert Huffman) and the 2006 manufacturer’s and driver’s championships (Todd Bodine) in the Craftsman Truck Series, as well as a Busch Series victory (Jason Leffler) at O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis earlier this year. Brian Vickers fifth-place finish at Charlotte’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway has been the best result by the Toyota Camry in the NEXTEL Cup Series this season.
For more information on the 50th anniversary of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., visit www.toyota50th.com.
Toyota in North America
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and will operate 15 manufacturing plants in North America by 2010. There are more than 1,700 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in 2006. Toyota directly employs over 41,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18.6 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $28.5 billion. According to a 2005 Center for Automotive Research study, Toyota, along with its dealers and suppliers, has generated nearly 400,000 U.S. jobs, including jobs created through spending by direct, dealer and suppliers employees. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com.