Toyota Cars

The Toyota Motor Company was founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda. It was created as a spinoff from Toyota Industries, Toyoda's father's company. In 1934, before even becoming its own company and while still a division of Toyota Industries, the Toyota Motor Company produced its first product, an automobile engine. Its first 2-seat vehicle was produced in 1936 and called the Toyota A1. Originally, the vehicle was marketed as the Toyoda A1, as were other vehicles because it was the family name.

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Toyota Through The Years

The name was changed to Toyota in 1937 for several reasons, including the fact that Toyoda means "fertile rice paddies" in Japanese. When the new company was registered, the newly formed word Toyota was trademarked at the same time. From September of 1947, Toyota vehicles were sold using the name Toyopet. When Toyota entered the market in America in 1957, this name was not well received due to linkages with toys and pets. The name was dropped for this market, but was continued to be used into the mid-1960s in all other markets.

The Toyota Motor Corporation was formed in 1982 when the Toyota Motor Company merged with Toyota Motor Sales. In response to taxes and tariffs imposed by the American government in the early 1980s, Toyota, as well as other Japanese car manufacturers, began to build manufacturing plants in the U.S. In 1984, Toyota also entered into the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. joint venture with General Motors. Under this venture they operated a factory in California, which had been an old GM factory. At the end of the 1980s, Toyota launched its luxury brand, Lexus and introduced a new logo for Toyota, which is used today.

The Toyota Motor Corporation owns Toyota and Lexus, as well as Scion, Daihatsu and Hino Motors. Additionally, the Toyota Motor Corporation is involved in several non-automotive companies. It's also a part of the Toyota Group, which is one of the largest conglomerates in the world.

Toyota in America

The headquarters for Toyota North America are located in Torrance, Calif. with its manufacturing headquarters located in Hebron, Ky. There are also six major assembly plants across the U.S. The joint venture with GM ended in 2009, but Toyota is part of another joint venture with Subaru, which started in 2006 in Lafayette, Ind. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. is a subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corporation and takes care of all sales, marketing and distribution of Toyota vehicles in the U.S.

The oil crisis in the early 1970s helped Toyota take off in the American market. Prior to this, American car manufacturers had seen small vehicles as entry-level products only and, as such, had kept prices low by providing low quality. Toyota's small vehicles had higher quality than those offered by their American competitors. As they grew globally and especially in the North American market, Toyota began to offer more and larger vehicles, which included a full-sized pickup, SUVs and the Lexus luxury brand.

In addition to expanding their line of vehicles in the 1990s, Toyota created the Scion brand. This brand was developed for the North American market only. It consists of sporty but affordable vehicles meant to be marketed to younger drivers in the U.S., with Canada to follow later. It also began production of its first hybrid car, the Prius in 1997.

Toyota Models

There are at least 70 different models of vehicles sold by Toyota. Toyota makes vehicles in all classes including coupes, sedans, trucks, vans, crossover vehicles and hybrids. Its smallest car is the Yaris, and its largest is the Avalon. It sedans are the Corolla and Camry. The crossover vehicles are the Matrix, RAV4, Venza and Highlander. SUVs include the FJ Cruiser, 4Runner, Sequoia and Land Cruiser. The Tacoma and the Tundra are the compact and full-sized pickup trucks manufactured by Toyota, and the Sienna is the only van available from Toyota. The Camry and Highlander can be purchased as hybrids, as well as the Prius.

Toyota Products and Technologies

Not only is Toyota one of the largest companies to invest in hybrid technology and push hybrid vehicles into the market, it was the very first to mass produce and sell these vehicles in the mainstream market. Initially, only the Prius was offered as a hybrid, but over time, as the technology became more popular, more models came with that option. The goal is to have its entire line available with hybrid technology by 2030.

The first generation of Prius cars, which were compact sedans, went on sale in 1997 in Japan. By 2001, it was available in many other countries, including the U.S. The second generation of the Prius was completely revamped in 2004 as a midsize 5-door liftback. The current generation of the Prius, which has a much more aerodynamic shape, was introduced in 2010. Toyota has also produced a plug-in Prius that will include a lithium-ion battery to give the vehicle an all-electric range.

Select a Toyota Model

Toyota 4Runner

2019-1995 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

Toyota needed a midsize SUV to enter the booming SUV market in the early 1980s, so the Toyota 4Runner was conceived.

Toyota 86

2019-2017 | Coupe, Sports

Toyota Avalon

2018-1995 | Hybrid, Luxury, Midsize, Sedan

Toyota needed an answer when the Cressida was discontinued in 1992, and soon the company found that the Toyota Avalon was it.

Toyota Avalon Hybrid

2018-2014 | Hybrid, Luxury, Sedan

Toyota Camry

2019-2001 | Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

The Toyota Camry was originally introduced as a compact car in 1980.

Toyota Camry Hybrid

2019-2014 | Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

Toyota Camry Solara

2008-1999 | Convertible, Coupe, Midsize

The Toyota Camry is a huge seller in the states.

Toyota Celica

2005-1995 | Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The Celica was one of the oldest cars in the Toyota lineup as a 35-year-old make.

Toyota C-HR

2019-2018 | Midsize, SUV, Utility/Offroad

Toyota Corolla

2019, 2017-1995 | Compact, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon

The Toyota Corolla is the top selling vehicle in the Toyota line.

Toyota Corolla iM

2018-2017 | Compact, Hatchback

Toyota ECHO

2005-2000 | Compact, Coupe, Sedan

Toyota was in need of a small, compact car around the turn of the millennium.

Toyota FJ Cruiser

2014-2007 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a rare breed.

Toyota Highlander

2018-2001 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Toyota Highlander filled a gap in the automotive world; buyers who wanted an SUV, but without the massive size were stuck in between decisions.

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2018-2006 | Hybrid, SUV, Utility/Offroad

The call for more fuel-efficient cars is both an environmental and economic one.

Toyota Land Cruiser

2019-2013, 2011-1995 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Land Cruiser is known for its durability and ruggedness in the outback, on expeditions, and in its newly-found place in the suburban wilderness.

Toyota Matrix

2013-2003 | Compact, Wagon

Toyota needed a smart-looking compact car that was cheap for the young buyer yet still had some sort of cool appeal.

Toyota Mirai

2018-2017 | Midsize, Sedan

Toyota MR2

1995 | Coupe, Sports

The Toyota MR2 was introduced in the United States in 1985.

Toyota MR2 Spyder

2005-2000 | Convertible, Sports

The Toyota MR2 Spyder was a mid-engine, rear drive sports car produced with a convertible top that seats two.

Toyota Paseo

1997-1995 | Convertible, Coupe, Sports

The Toyota Paseo was a compact car made by Toyota between 1991 and 1999.

Toyota Pickup

1995 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

Like all Toyota trucks and some vehicles in the Toyota line, the Toyota Pickup is known for its reliability.

Toyota Previa

1997-1995 | Minivan/Van

The Toyota Previa represents the second minivan introduced by Toyota.

Toyota Prius

2018-2001 | Compact, Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan

The Toyota Prius was introduced in the 2001 model year.

Toyota Prius C

2019-2012 | Compact, Hatchback, Hybrid

Toyota Prius Plug-In

2015-2012 | Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

The Toyota Prius, since its introduction in 2001, has been a golden standard for hybrid technology.

Toyota Prius Prime

2018-2017 | Hatchback, Hybrid, Midsize

Toyota Prius V

2017-2012 | Hybrid, Wagon

The Toyota Prius V is one of the latest released from the Toyota Prius line.

Toyota RAV4

2018-1996 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The SUV always performed well for Toyota.

Toyota RAV4 EV

2014-2013 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2018-2016 | Hybrid, SUV, Utility/Offroad

Toyota Sequoia

2019-2010, 2008-2001 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Toyota Sequoia is a full-size SUV with adequate space for the entire family and offers a reliable drive.

Toyota Sienna

2019-1998 | Minivan/Van

The Toyota Sienna is a minivan that was first introduced in the 1998 model year.

Toyota Supra

1998-1995 | Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The Toyota Supra was a spinoff of the Celica when it was first introduced.

Toyota T-100

1998-1995 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Toyota T-100 was a truck that filled the space between the midsize and full-size vehicles in Toyota’s line.

Toyota Tacoma

2019-1995 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

Originally introduced in 1995, the Toyota Tacoma has proven itself to be one of the most consistently popular compact pickup trucks on the market over the years.

Toyota Tercel

1998-1995 | Compact, Coupe, Sedan

The Toyota Tercel had a run of production that spanned three decades.

Toyota Toyota

2017 | Hybrid, Luxury, Sedan

Toyota Tundra

2019-2000 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

Introduced in 2000, the original Toyota Tundra debuted as a replacement for the largely overlooked Toyota T100.

Toyota Venza

2015-2009 | Hatchback, SUV, Utility/Offroad

First introduced in 2009, the Toyota Venza is a rather unique vehicle that can be regarded as part sedan, part SUV, and part station wagon; never mind that the EPA classifies it as a truck.

Toyota Yaris

2019-2007 | Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

First introduced in 2007 as the successor to the rather unwieldy looking Echo, the Toyota Yaris is an entry-level subcompact car that the brand previously offered in Europe.

Toyota Yaris iA

2018-2017 | Compact, Sedan