Toyota Shows Its American Patriotism Through NASCAR
A little over a week ago, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch drove his No. 18 Toyota Camry to victory in the Sprint Cup Series championship. While some Americans might think that Kyle Busch should have chosen to drive a more American car, Toyota would be the first to point out that the Camry is as American as apple pie or even NASCAR itself. The Camry is manufactured right here in America, at Toyota’s plant in Georgetown, Kentucky.
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Toyota began its foray into NASCAR in 2007. Back then, only one out of three NASCAR fans said they would consider driving a Toyota vehicle—half the number who would consider one of the sport’s domestic sponsors, such as Ford or Chevrolet. But Toyota has been working hard to improve its appeal to fans of America’s favorite motorsport in the last eight years, to the extent that two out of three NASCAR fans now claim they would consider a Toyota as their next car.
NASCAR fans are known for their brand loyalty, and when Toyota first entered the sport it was faced with patriotic fans that leaned toward the domestic sponsors of the sport. In fact, Edward Laukes, Toyota’s vice president of Marketing Communications and Motorsports, recalls not seeing a single Toyota vehicle in the parking lots at races when the automaker first joined NASCAR.
Over the last eight years, Toyota has been emphasizing its presence in the US to NASCAR drivers and fans. The automaker might be Japanese by birthright, but it can claim a whopping 14 plants right here in the US of A, and has created approximately 365,000 jobs for American workers. The automaker ranked third in media value and time on-screen during the 2015 Sprint Cup series, behind Sprint and Chevy, and ahead of Ford. While sales are still down from back in 2007, Toyota believes that its newfound loyalty with NASCAR fans will secure its place as one of America’s favorite carmakers in the future.
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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)