Game-Changing Japanese Cars
Quick: What's the top-selling automaker in the U.S.? If you answered General Motors, it's easy to understand why — after all, GM has held that title for nearly a century. But times are changing. Toyota has stolen GM's crown, selling 2.3 million vehicles in 2021, compared with GM's 2.2 million. Those numbers are a 10.4% rise and a 12.9% drop from 2020, respectively.
It's a milestone that's been a long time coming. The first Japanese cars arrived in the U.S. in 1957 when Toyota shipped two of its Crown sedans to California. But it would be more than a decade before U.S. drivers, especially younger ones, began to take notice. By the time baby boomers were having babies of their own in the '80s and '90s, Japanese car companies were going head to head with Detroit's Big Three. How did they do it? By building game-changing cars like these.