Our American Journey

Sixty years ago, Toyota embarked on a bold journey. Here’s a look back on how it went and a glimpse at where it’s going.
by Dan Miller and Dan Nied
Sept/Oct 2017
Our American Journey
When Jim Lentz announced in 2014 that Toyota would establish an all-new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, the Toyota Motor North America CEO said the bold move would set the stage for the next generation of the company’s customers, dealers, leaders and team members.
 
Talk about history repeating itself.
 
That’s because in 1957, Lentz’s predecessors made a similarly bold move — leaving their comfort zone of success in Japan in hopes of establishing a foothold in the vast but foreign U.S. marketplace. Then, as now, there was great risk. But it was outweighed by the promise of far greater reward.

 

Hollywood Toyota Motor opened for business in 1958.

No one can say for certain where the current journey to One Toyota will lead. But, as Toyota celebrates its 60th year of doing business in the U.S., we can look back at the twists and turns that led us to this point. Henry Ford once said that “history is bunk.” For Toyota, though, there’s every reason to believe that the past will be the prologue to an even brighter future.
 

Toyota's Historical Timeline

American Journey: Humble Beginnings (1957-1969)
American Journey: Gaining Traction (1970-1988)
American Journey: Robust Growth (1989-2007)
American Journey: New Challenges/One Toyota (2008-present)

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