October 31, 1957 – Toyota USA opens

Toyota began its crusade to take over the American car market on this day in 1957 when it they established their American headquarters in an old Rambler dealership in Hollywood, California. Executives believed that their Toyopet, also known as the Toyota Crown, would be the first choice for a second car for American families. Sales began in 1958 and they quickly discovered their small, underpowered vehicle was not a hit. Selling just 286 of the cars, and one Land Cruiser, Toyota was quick to reevaluate its approach to the American car market. When the Toyopet was discontinued in the US in 1961 the Land Rover carried Toyota until 1965 when it introduced the Corona, which quickly became a hit. By July 1967 Toyota was the third best selling import brand in America. In 1968 the Corolla would introduce the smashingly successful Corolla, pushing the company to the number one import spot in 1975, surpassing Volkswagen. The Corolla has since become the number one selling passenger sedan of all time, with more than 30 million sold since its introduction. In 1986 Toyota became the first import auto maker to sell more than 1 million vehicles in a single year. Toyota also began manufacturing vehicles in America that year; the first American built Toyota was a white Corolla FX16 that rolled off the assembly line October 7, 1986. PicsThe first two Toyopet Crowns came to the USA via the deck of a cruise ship in August 1957.The Hollywood office where Toyota USA got its start. It was previously a Rambler dealership.