automotive company, was born on this day in 1867. Toyota has grown to be one of
the largest car companies in the world. However it has not always been that
Toyota for much of the last half of the 20th century was
considered a company inferior to the big three automakers of the U.S. Ford, Chrysler,
and GM were the forces that ruled the auto world.
No place was this more true than in NASCAR.
Junior Johnson, Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt would have never considered
driving a Toyota in the Daytona 500. There are several reasons for this. First,
Toyota did not have a car capable of competing in NASCAR.
Secondly, rules were such that Toyota would not have been allowed to
compete in NASCAR. Finally, Toyota was a foreign car company, and NASCAR was a
southern automotive sport that was distinctly American. You couldn’t have a
foreign car competing in a NASCAR. It was un-American.
Then it happened. Toyota entered NASCAR’s lesser racing divisions starting in 2000, and the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR’ s major racing series, in 2006- 2007.
Since the beginning of the 21st century many consider Toyota an American
car company, as much as a Japanese car company, because of plants they
have on American soil. Toyota passed U.S. automaker GM in 2008 as the world’s largest
automaker. Toyota has experienced difficulty as well. Recent recalls have
created questions about Toyota quality. Toyota has suffered financial struggles
like many car companies because of poor economic conditions. However it seems
Toyota has risen to the top of the auto industry. Is Toyota for
Post your comments to the following
Do you consider Toyota to be one of the U.S. automakers or simply
a foreign car company competing in the U.S.? Where would you rank Toyota in a list
of the top five auto makers in the world? Why? Why do you think NASCAR opened the
Sprint Cup door to Toyota in 2006?