Toyota Canada History
Toyota has been a major player in the car business for decades. They’ve faced some tough times throughout their history but their drive for constant innovation and quality workmanship has always kept them going. There’s a lot that might surprise you about Toyota, including their strong ties to Canada and the important work that happens here.
Toyota Motor Corporation began as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works in 1933, releasing their first car in 1936. The company was incorporated the following year when it officially became the Toyota Motor Company, Ltd. It continued to grow until the damage done by World War II and its aftermath caused them to suspend their automobile production.
Toyota fought back by working hard and pushing forward. It didn’t take long for them to bounce back and production was back up and running by the 1950s. At that time, executives toured American automotive production facilities to learn about the newest technological advances. They brought what they learned back to their own facilities and had an immediate increase in productivity.
Toyota Early Years
In 1957, Toyota released their first model in the US, the Toyopet. To put it mildly, it was not a success. So Toyota kept on trying. They completely redesigned the Toyopet and rereleased it in the States as the Toyota Corona in 1965. It quickly gained the reputation of being reliable and less expensive than comparable American and European cars. It was their first major success in the US and remained popular for a lot time. Production wasn’t discontinued until the year 2000.
The company expanded rapidly in the 1960s and 70s when they began to acquire smaller companies. They soon began exporting
more and more cars to foreign markets. The brand began to build the reputation that they still have today: fuel-efficient, reliable vehicles at a fair price. That’s why used Toyotas for sale often have high resale values and are so sought after today.
Toyota has an impressive history in Canada. They broke ground on their Canadian plant in 1986. Since 1988, Toyotas have been manufactured by Canadians for Canadian Toyota car dealerships and those elsewhere in North America. Since that time, they’ve produced more than 6 million vehicles, a majority of them for export to the US.
Toyota’s Canadian operations have achieved some impressive milestones. In 2003, their Cambridge plant became the first one outside of Japan to produce cars for their luxury brand, Lexus. This production was later expanded in 2014.
Toyota’s Canadian plant has even received multiple distinctions, including several sought after platinum and gold J.D. Power & Associates Plant Quality awards. It was the first Toyota facility outside of Japan to do so.
Canada is also home to Toyota’s Cold Weather Testing Centre. It’s located in Timmins, Ontario and began in 1974. Here, they do year round testing of vehicles from Toyota’s vast line up of vehicles to see how they perform in frigid temperatures, ice, and snow.
Toyota in the Modern Years
The brand itself continued to grow globally well into the 21st century. One of the things they became best known for is the Prius, the first mass-produce hybrid car which went on the market in Japan in 1997 and then worldwide in 2001. Today, the Prius is sold around the world in more than 40 countries and the US EPA has said that it’s the most fuel efficient vehicle sold.
In Latin, Prius means “to go before,” a name Toyota chose because they felt it would be the example for cars in the future. They were right. Other car manufacturers quickly followed suit and, today, every major car manufacturer has at least one hybrid model.
They introduced their luxury brand, Lexus, in 1989. They also later went on to produce the first luxury hybrid with the Lexus RX 400h in 2005.
Toyota is a resilient brand that has had their share of hurdles along the way, but their reputation for low-cost reliability has helped them overcome any obstacles in their way. Today, the Corolla isn’t just the best-selling used Toyota, it’s one of the best-selling used cars across the board. The Camry is consistently one of the best-selling sedans. Toyota used cars have one of the best resale values in the industry.
“Let’s go places” is the Toyota motto and is perfectly representative of the brand and how it’s grown over the years. From the post-World War II difficulties to the failure of the first car introduced in the US, Toyota has kept right on moving forward. They developed the first mass-marketed hybrid and paved the way for the cars of the future. Today, they continue to produce some of the world’s most reliable, innovative vehicles. Canada continues to play a big role in the success of the brand, as they have since 1988.
Buying a Used Toyota Car
Toyota cars are some of the longest lasting out there. You can’t go wrong with a used toyota, but like all cars we recommend getting a good vehicle history before buying used. Getting a limited warranty is also a great idea.