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Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.


Event Location

19001 S. Western Ave.
Torrance, CA 90509
Map of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., 19001 S. Western Ave., Torrance

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. was formed October 31, 1957, establishing its headquarters in a former Rambler dealership in Hollywood, California. Sales began in 1958 and totaled a modest 288 vehicles -- 287 Toyopet Crown sedans and one Land Cruiser.

Enthusiasm turned to gloom when it was found that the Toyopet, a sturdy vehicle with a number of quality features and room to spare, was woefully underpowered and overpriced for the American market. Toyopet sales were discontinued in 1961. The legendary Land Cruiser, which quickly gained a reputation as a durable, all-terrain vehicle, carried the Toyota flag in the U.S. until 1965.

The Corona, designed with the American driver in mind, was introduced in 1965. With factory-installed air conditioning and an automatic transmission, Corona helped increase U.S. sales of Toyota vehicles threefold in 1966, to more than 20,000 units. This quick success established Toyota as a legitimate force in the U.S. market.

The Corolla was introduced in 1968 and, like the Corona, was a rousing success. Corolla has since gone on to become the world's all-time best-selling passenger car, with 27 million sold in more than 140 countries.

As more Americans discovered the quality and reliability of Toyota products, sales continued to soar. By July 1967, Toyota had become the third-best-selling import brand in the U.S., and in 1972, Toyota sold its one-millionth vehicle. By the end of 1975, Toyota had surpassed Volkswagen to become the Number One import brand in the U.S. The brand took the 'Import Triple Crown' in 1978, leading all import brands in sales of cars, trucks and total vehicles.

During the 1970s, Toyota launched some of its most memorable marketing campaigns, using tag lines that included 'You Asked For It/You Got It!' and the hit 'Oh What A Feeling!' campaign that included the popular 'Toyota Jump.'

As Toyota celebrated its 25th anniversary in America in 1982, it opened the national headquarters complext that it occupies today in Torrance, California.

Toyota's success continued, and in 1986, with sales of 1,025,305 vehicles, it became the first import automaker to sell more than one million vehicles in America in a single year. That year also marked the company's debut as a manufacturer in the U.S., with the rollout of the first Toyota car built on American soil. The vehicle, a white Corolla FX16, was produced October 7, 1986, at the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. plant, a joint venture with General Motors.

Since then, Toyota has added 12 vehicle and parts plants in North America. By the end of 2004, Toyota's annual North American production had grown to more than 1.4 million vehicles, from plants in Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Alabama, and Ontario, Canada.

As Toyota's presence in America grew, the company sought a larger role in communities across the nation. To commemorate the company's 30th anniversary in America, Toyota established the Toyota USA Foundation in 1987 with a $10 million endowment and a mission to make Toyota a leading corporate citizen.

In 1989, Toyota established a luxury line of vehicles with the debut of the Lexus LS 400 and the ES 250. Both were well received by the news media and customers, and by 1991, Lexus became the Number One luxury import in the U.S., surpassing both Mercedes Benz and BMW. Lexus also led three independent J.D. Power and Associates studies in 1991 as the top nameplate in Customer Satisfaction, Sales Satisfaction and Initial Quality.

Toyota continued its strong growth through the 1990s. In December 1997, the Toyota Camry first earned the title of Number One-selling passenger car in America. Camry was to win this distinction in seven of the next eight years. Toyota also launched its first full-sized pickup, the Tundra, in 1998.

Toyota marked the start of the new millennium with the launch of the Prius sedan, the world's first mass-produced gas/electric hybrid car. The Prius hybrid was revolutionary: its EPA-estimated miles per gallon was 45-city/51 highway and its tailpipe emissions were 90 percent less than those of conventional cars.

By the end of 2000, following its tag line, 'The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection,' Lexus became the top-selling luxury brand in the U.S., edging Mercedes Benz by 423 units and establishing an industry-leading position it has held ever since.

May 2001 marked the incorporation of Toyota Motor Sales de Mexico, Toyota's new sales and marketing subsidiary in Mexico. By the end of that year, Toyota had grown to become the third-best-selling automotive brand in the United States, surpassing Dodge with best-ever sales of 1,741,254 vehicles. Three years later, during 2004, Toyota U.S. sales topped two million vehicles a year for the first time.

In December of 2002, Toyota delivered its first two zero-emission, market-ready hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to customers in California for real-world testing. The next year, Toyota's new, breakthrough hybrid technology, the 'Hybrid Synergy Drive' was introduced for use in the all-new 2004 Prius.

Toyota's growth in America continued in 2003 when it launched Scion, its third line of vehicles. Scion featured three modestly priced, but feature-rich vehicles brought to market by most Toyota dealers under an innovative, youth-oriented marketing program. Scion was a success, and in 2004, Toyota's U.S. sales topped two million vehicles per year for the first time.

In 2005, Toyota continued expanding its environmentally advanced lineup with the introduction of the world's first luxury hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h, and a hybrid option for the Toyota Highlander.

Toyota added a hybrid option to its popular Camry sedan in 2006, and began building it in the United States at its massive Kentucky plant. The company also opened its tenth U.S. plant in San Antonio, Texas, to build full-size pickups along with its first truck plant in Princeton, Indiana. In addition, the company launched the FJ Cruiser with a design that harkens back to the early years of the rugged Land Cruiser, the only vehicle Toyota has continuously sold throughout its entire 50-year history in America. As a result, sales surged to more than 2.5 million for the first time.

In 2007, its 50th year in America, Toyota introduced its largest pick-up truck ever, the rugged 2007 Toyota Tundra. In addition, the company is introducing the second-generation of its iconic Scion xB urban utility vehicle, and the world's first V8 hybrid, the Lexus 600h. In April, Toyota also broke ground on its 11th U.S. manufacturing plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi.

For Toyota, it has been a great ride, and for our customers and friends, we thank you for your support and loyalty as we proudly celebrate 50 years of progress together on October 31, 2007.

Toyota. Moving people forward for 50 years in America. And the best is yet to come...

Toyota vehicles and components are built using U.S. and globally source parts



Phone: (310) 468-4728

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