Kurt Verlin
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Toyota Celebrates 30 Million Vehicles Made in North America

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2021 Toyota Sienna rolls off Toyota Indiana assembly line
Photo: Toyota

This week, Toyota Motor North America celebrated the production of 30 million vehicles, and we decided to do some math.

The first vehicle that Toyota produced in North America, a white Corolla FX16, rolled out of the New United Motor Manufacturing plant in Fremont, California, on Oct. 7, 1986 — a little over 18.5 million minutes ago.

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In other words, Toyota has since cranked out an average of 1.62 vehicles per minute, and the automaker’s production pace is only accelerating. It reached 10 million units in 2002, 16 years after that first Corolla. It only took another seven years to produce the next 10 million, and another 12 to produce the next 10 million after that.

Sure, there was a slowdown in the early 2010s because of the recession, but sales were setting new records pre-COVID and they look to be getting back in form again, so we expect Toyota to make its 40-million announcement before the turn of the decade.

Though the first North American-produced Toyota was a Corolla, the 30th million was not. Made at the company’s Indiana plant, it was a gray 2021 Sienna, the first minivan in the segment to be offered with an exclusively hybrid powertrain.

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2021 Toyota Sienna rolls off Toyota Indiana assembly line
Photo: Toyota

Toyota has invested nearly $30 billion in U.S. manufacturing in the last 35 years, and committed to investing $13 billion in the last five years alone — adding 6,500 new jobs in the process. About a tenth of that investment went toward the creation of new tooling and technology at Toyota Indiana that enabled the production of the all-new Sienna minivan.

“For 35 years, our employees have been assembling vehicles in the U.S. with an unwavering commitment to safety and quality,” said Brian Krinock, senior vice president, Vehicle Manufacturing & Production Engineering for TMNA. “On behalf of our 36,000 employees in the U.S. who help design, engineer, assemble and distribute ten popular Toyota and Lexus models, we thank our loyal customers for putting their trust in our products and going places with us.”