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History of Japanese vehicles manufactured in the US

In 1958, Toyota became the first Japanese company to sell a mass-produced passenger car in the US; The Toyopet Crown. Back then, even the Toyota’s own employees in the US had criticized the saloon’s lack of power and high price. Toyota's small network of US retailers sold 287 Crown's plus a single Land Cruiser in the launch year. The company withdrew from the American market from 1960 to 1965 to develop products better suited to American taste. In the same year, Nissan's Datsun brand made its debut and sold just 83 cars but in the following year sales ballooned to 1290 cars. 1968 saw Subaru 360 make its appearance in America. The 25-horsepower kei car was dubbed the most unsafe car. Subaru suffered from this negative publicity for several years. In 1969, Hondas started their venture especially for the US consumers. Their model N600 was not very popular due to its restraint dimensions and a small engine. But their success began with the introduction of Civic model in 1973. Mazda began selling both rotary- and piston-powered vehicles in the US in 1970 and Mazda Motors was established in America in 1971. In the same year, Chrysler started selling re-badged Mitsubishi imports in the US. The original Dodge Colt manufactured in their Japanese factory was offered as a coupe, a saloon and an estate. In 1982, Mitsubishi began selling cars under its own name in the US. Its lineup originally consisted of the Cordia, the Tredia and the Starion. The first Suzuki sold in the US wore a Chevrolet emblem in 1985. Due to negative publicity, it had to exit the market in the year 2012. In 1980, Subaru teamed up with Isuzu to build an assembly plant in Lafayette, Indiana on their own. Later on Isuzu sold it's stake while Subaru managed to hang on with the competition. Japanese automakers made sizable contributions to America’s automotive industry in the year 2016. They had collectively exported 412,281 cars and trucks from their American factories to countries in all four corners of the globe that year. They built nearly 4 million vehicles and 4.7 million engines in the US. From then on there was no looking back for the Japanese Automative industry in the US and Japanese automakers have continued to invest in the US.

It was really fascinating to read about the history of minitrucks and how it evolved for use in US. I am sure as the demand increases, so will the quality of vehicles being produced here. I only hope a standard rule governing minitrucks are followed in all states, and that the minitrucks are given the importance they deserve.