The History of Toyota
The 20th Century realized more changes than any other century before it, and at a rapid pace. Among the many changes, one in particular was transportation. From 1901 to 1999, we went from horseback to automobile to space shuttles, but the automobile was the fastest growing form of transportation, and remains so today.
We have all heard of Ford and General Motors and of their existence since the first and second decades of the 20th century, but how many of us know that the Toyota Motor Company was soon to become a major contender with the American Automobile Manufacturers starting in the mid 1920’s?
Toyota’s founder, Mr. Sakichi Toyoda, set forth plans for automobile manufacturing in the 1920’s after he invented his Toyoda Automatic Loom in 1924 for the textiles industry. Under his request, Mr. Toyoda’s son, Kiichiro Toyoda, traveled throughout Europe and America to research automobile production and the gasoline-powered engine. Upon Kiichiro’s return home, automobile production was turned over to him. In 1936, the first Model AA rolled off the assembly line.
The Toyota Motor Company started under its founder’s name of Toyoda, but due to Japanese custom and culture, the name Toyota was considered to bring more luck and good fortune than the name Toyoda. To write the name Toyota took exactly eight strokes of the brush, and in Japan, the number eight is considered lucky, and so it was changed.
Throughout World War II, Toyota manufactured mainly trucks for the Japanese Imperial Army. After World War II, their economy suffered and truck production slowed substantially. Around 1950, commercial car production started to escalate, and when the late sixties rolled around, it was clear that the Toyota Corolla
was here to stay when their sales surpassed that of Datsun’s (Nissan) similar class. The 1973 oil crises pushed Toyota in front of all the rest as the best economy car in fuel efficiency on the market. It was also around that time that Toyota had sold its one-millionth vehicle, and gained a worldwide presence as one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market.
Toyota’s American presence has played a huge role in the parts manufacturing arena, and in putting Americans to work. Toyota introduced USA performance parts
into the American marketplace in 1996 that were sold exclusively at Toyota dealerships and the TRD Catalog to include upgrade packages, superchargers and performance parts for cars and trucks. As of 2006, Toyota manufactured approximately 1.6 million vehicles in the U.S. and employed approximately 142,000 Americans.
In 2000, Toyota rolled onto the track of NASCAR’s Goody's Dash Series with the Celica and scored their first win in 2001. From there, they went on to win the Championship in 2003 with Robert Huffman. They began racing trucks in the NASCAR Truck Series in 2004, and in 2007, the Camry
became a major contender in the Nextel Cup and Busch Series races.
The Toyota Prius was first introduced in Japan in 1997 and in 1999, it became the world’s top selling hybrid with worldwide total sales of 2.36 million units by August 2011.
Toyota has always been a formidable opponent in the U.S. and has always been one step ahead of its competition in terms of technology, desirability, and portraying keen insight with environmental awareness and practices. From manufacturing to the production of their vehicles in which customers commute each day, Toyota is committed to listening and delivering what the public needs. From the model AA to the Corolla, from the Celica to the Supra, from the Lexus to the Scion: Toyota has always supplied just the right vehicle, at just the right time, for just about everyone.
Sandy Springs Toyota on Roswell Road serving Sandy Springs, Georgia is owned and managed by the Jackson family who are proud to be a part of the Toyota family. With over thirty-years in business at the Roswell Road location, one can only imagine that they have listened to their fair share of stories from loyal customers about their very own favorite Toyota.
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If you had to describe to someone in one word what a Toyota Truck is, it would be dependable. The first Toyota truck was produced in Japan in 1935. It was the model G1. Farmers predominantly used the truck at the time, and the trucks were used for early military units until more advanced models were produced. Years later, the first Toyota “Stout” was introduced to America in 1964. However, the Stout was not well received.
In 1969, the little truck that could…and did was very well received in America. The Toyota Hilux (aka) “Pickup Truck” was introduced and it raised the bar for other truck manufactures across the globe. To this date, Toyota Hilux owners swear by the old 20R engine and say it was the best. The short bed Hilux was first introduced, eventually evolving to the long bed, and from rear wheel drive to front wheel, and all wheel drive from the late ‘70’s and into the ‘80’s. Once again, Toyota was way ahead of its time in producing a well-manufactured and dependable product just when the American public needed it.
Out of the many Toyota truck owners, the Hilux is the one that you will hear beloved stories told over and over again about its overall performance and longevity. Jim Kelly in Stone Mountain, Georgia, owned a 1977 Toyota Hilux long bed. He owned and operated a landscaping business and the little truck hauled his mowing and landscaping equipment without ever missing a beat. When he finally decided to sell the truck, it had 501,000 miles on it. He sold the truck to a young man that wanted to buy it for his father. Yes, the truck was still running, and it still had most of its original equipment that came with it.
Kelly said, “I never worried about gettin’ in it, and gettin’ back; the motor ran like a sewing machine. It had the old 20R engine in it, which, in my opinion, was the best engine Toyota ever made. And when it came to buying tires, due to its light weight, a set of good tires were hard to wear out on that little truck. It was the best truck in the world.”
Sandy Springs Toyota is a family owned dealership on Roswell Road serving Sandy Springs. The Jackson’s proudly stand behind their inventory of trucks. Although you won’t find the little Hilux there, you will find its offspring. From the larger, yet energy efficient and award winning lines of Tacoma and Tundra, they are sure to be history in the making, as well. These trucks are beautiful, economic, tough as nails, and yes…dependable.
Learn more about the history of these great Toyota's