The first Japanese manufacturer to offer new cars in the United States, Toyota Motor Corporation is one of world’s three largest auto builders. With their reputation for value, durability, and reliability, new Toyota models are among the world's best selling automobiles. In fact, Toyota’s Camry line of cars routinely sell an average of 400,000 units annually—in the United States alone. That’s more sales of one model than many car companies sell of their entire product range—combined.
The first new Toyota models offered in the U.S. came in under the name “Toyopet” in 1957. While that nameplate was quite successful in Japan, in the U.S. it conjured visions of toys and pets, which didn’t go over so well in the American automotive marketplace.
In 1965, the Toyota Corona, designed specifically for the American market, became the breakthrough Toyota automobile for the United States. With a 90-horsepower engine, air conditioning, and an automatic transmission—in addition to great fuel economy and reasonably attractive styling, the Corona struck a chord with American new car buyers.
The smaller Corolla followed the Corona just in time for the energy crisis of the 1970's.
In the 1980’s Toyota really hit its stride in the United States, with a nearly full line of new Toyota cars trucks and SUVs. The company even offered a mid-engine sports car, called the Toyota MR2. Its 4Runner SUV also proved to be a highly popular item. Moving into the 1990’s, the lineup of new Toyota models finally included a full-size family sedan in the Avalon.
By the end of the 1990’s Toyota was also on the leading edge of fuel-efficient transportation with the gasoline/electric powered Toyota Prius model, around which an entire family of vehicles is built now. Further, the company has also successfully entered the luxury market with its Lexus brand.