Toyota celebrates 60 years of innovation in America

How long has Toyota been in the United States?

Earlier this week, Toyota celebrated its 60th anniversary of operating in the United States. In the past 60 years, Toyota has achieved some outstanding things including developing two of the most popular cars in the world with the Camry and the Corolla. But nobody could have foreseen this level of success in those early days when Toyota’s North American headquarters opened in Hollywood on Oct. 31, 1957. The automaker repurposed the 3,000-square-feet space, once occupied by a previously failed dealership. Fast forward to today, Toyota has a presence in every state, consisting of 14 manufacturing facilities and there are almost 1,500 Toyota dealerships (including White River Toyota) operating in the country. Let’s take a look back through Toyota’s storied history.

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“Celebrating our anniversary isn’t just about the products we’ve sold the past 60 years,” Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz said in a press release. “It’s also 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.”

The beginnings

Quick! What were the first Toyota vehicles sold in the United States? Give up? It was the Toyopet Crown and the Toyota Land Cruiser. The latter of the two vehicles is still in production today. However, the first and most current models couldn’t be more different. At the beginning, the Toyota Land Cruiser was a pretty rugged platform, used for the some serious off-road, or even agricultural work. That tough-as-nails DNA is still seen in the Land Cruiser, but the model has become far more luxurious in several different ways.

Toyopet Crown

Black and white photo of a Toyopet Crown, the first car Toyota sold in the U.S.

Toyota Corolla

A black and white photo of a first generation Toyota Corolla

Toyota RAV4

A first generation blue Toyota RAV4

Toyota 2000GT

A photo of a red Toyota 2000GT one of the most incredible sports cars ever built

A strong argument could be made that Toyota really arrived as a major player in the U.S. automotive market when the Toyota Corolla was introduced in the 1960s. The compact car was such a success that it was able to knock the respectable Volkswagen Beetle off of its perch as the best-selling car in the world in pretty short order, relatively speaking.

Modern face of the company

Toyota really hit its stride in the 1990s. This is when the automaker’s most popular models were introduced to the public. When the Tacoma, RAV4, Avalon and Sienna were introduced, the die had been cast and Toyota was on a collision course with history. It’s pretty telling that all of these vehicles are still in production, with many of the newest models having already arrived in the White River Toyota showroom.

If you’d like to have your own part of Toyota history and be able to add your voice to the story, check out what is available at White River Toyota today.