Toyota trucks are among the many popular vehicle offerings from Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyota pickup trucks and other Toyota vehicles are available throughout the world. Toyota Motor Company was founded in 1937, primarily to build passenger cars, and was based on the expertise and experience of Toyota Industries, another manufacturing company owned by the same family. Toyota Motor Corporation was up and running quickly, rolling out its first vehicles before the company was even fully established. Toyota pickups have been in production since 1947, just ten years after the company’s official opening, and the Toyota pickup truck line remains an important part of Toyota’s global strategy.
The first of the Toyota trucks was the Toyota SB, a light truck with a ladder chassis. It was only sold in Japan and in a few other areas throughout Asia, although the United States military imported the Toyota SB for use as a military vehicle. In 1954, the Toyota RK, a slightly larger pickup truck, hit the market. The Toyota RK was renamed the Toyota Stout in 1959, and became popular in part because it could be easily adapted into other types of vehicles, such as vans and ambulances. The Toyota Hilux compact truck joined the Toyota pickup truck lineup in 1968, and some 1970s examples of the Toyota Hilux can still be seen on the road. Toyota still produces a version of the Hilux for some markets, although the name is usually changed.
Toyota didn’t start exporting compact pickups to the United States until they’d established that there was demand for such a vehicle. The first Toyota truck to join the market in the United States was the T100, which was sold from 1993 until 1998. The Toyota T100 featured a traditional size pickup bed, but the rest of the components, such as the suspension and drivetrain, were more like those of a compact pickup, lending the vehicle an economically friendly edge. Toyota added an extended cab version of the T100 midway through the truck’s lifecycle. The Toyota T100 was replaced by a new Toyota pickup truck, the Tundra, which was introduced for the 2000 model year. It was larger and stronger to be better suited to the American market, and boasted a V8 engine option as well as a V6. A 2007 refresh of the Tundra improved towing capacity and driving dynamics, increasing the vehicle’s market share. The Toyota truck family was further solidified in North America with the addition of the mid size Toyota Tacoma.