Toyota celebrated 60 years in the United States in 2017. It’s been a long road from its unspectacular beginning, when it opened the doors of its original North American headquarters in a former Rambler dealership in California in 1957. A lackluster seller, the Toyopet Crown (the precursor to the Corona) was the only vehicle offered for sale. The revered Land Cruiser arrived the following year, increasing sales numbers. But it wasn’t until the introduction of the Corolla in 1968 that the brand’s U.S. sales began to gain real momentum. The Corolla would go on to become the best-selling nameplate in the world.
Toyota Motor Company, Ltd (TMC) traces its lineage back to 1933, when it was established as a division of Japan’s Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd. It was incorporated as TMC in 1936, the same year its first car, a Model AA, went on sale.
"Made in America" has been stamped on components since 1972. Located in Long Beach, California, the first TMS production plant began operations more than 31 years ago, manufacturing pickup truck beds. Today, TMS assembles vehicles and engines in eight U.S. plants: Five build cars and three build engines. In 2016, TMS assembled 1,382,246 vehicles in the U.S. Of these, it exported roughly 138,000 to other markets. Just over 50 percent of the 2.45 million vehicles TMS sold in the U.S. in 2016 were assembled in the U.S.
Located in Georgetown, Kentucky, the TMS manufacturing facility — the brand’s largest in the world — is called TMMK. About 15 miles north of Lexington, TMMK is a $6 billion facility on 1,300 acres with a workforce of more than 8,000. "TMMI" is how the company refers to the vehicle assembly plant in Princeton, Indiana. It’s a $3 billion investment located on 1,160 acres just 150 miles southwest of Indianapolis. More than 5,100 workers are employed there. Located on 2,000 acres in San Antonio, Texas is TMMTX. More than 3,100 workers are employed in this $2.4 billion, 2.2 million sq ft. facility. Situated on 1,700 acres roughly 100 miles southeast of Memphis, Tennessee is the $961 million TMMMS assembly plant in Blue Springs, Mississippi, with its workforce of 1,500. Finally, TMS builds a few cars under contract in the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana (SIA).
TMMMS — built a total of 182,025 Corollas
SIA — built a total of 35,945 Camrys
TMMK — began production in 1988
TMMI — began production in 1999
TMMTX — began production in 2006
TMMMS — began production in the fall of 2011
Since the first Camry rolled off the TMMK line, the combined total of all the U.S. plants is well over 30 million vehicles. During that time, more than 470,000 jobs, direct and indirect, have been created.
In addition to the vehicle-assembly plants, three engine plants produced nearly two million engines in 2016. There’s still a manufacturing plant in Long Beach, producing sheetmetal and aluminum components.