1970's & 1980's
In 1972 Toyota sold its one-millionth vehicle. By the end of 1975, Toyota surpassed Volkswagen to become the No. 1 import brand in the United States. Three years later, in 1978, Toyota won the "Import Triple Crown" by 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 during 1982, it opened a new national sales headquarters complex that it occupies today in Torrance, California. Toyota's success continued, and in 1986, it became the first import automaker to sell more than one million vehicles in America in a single year, racking up sales of 1,025,305 cars and trucks. That year also marked the company's debut as a manufacturer in the United States, with the rollout of the first Toyota car built on American soil. The vehicle, a white Corolla FX16, was produced on October 7, 1986, at the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. plant, a joint venture with General Motors.
Since then, Toyota has established many other vehicle and parts plants in North America. By 2010, Toyota will have the annual capacity to build about 2.2 million cars and trucks and 1.45 million engines in 15 plants across North America, including the states of California, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri and Mississippi.
As Toyota's presence in America grew, the company sought a larger role in communities across the nation. So, to commemorate the company's 30th anniversary in America in 1987, Toyota established the Toyota USA Foundation with a $10 million endowment and a mission to make Toyota a leading corporate citizen.
In 1989, Toyota branched out by establishing a luxury line of vehicles with the debut of the Lexus LS 400 and the ES 250. Highly acclaimed cars, plus exceptional customer service quickly became the hallmark of Lexus.