The next two dealerships to join the Baxter group were Toyota and Lexus dealerships. Baxter first purchased Southroads Toyota in Bellevue in 1988. Today, that dealership is Baxter Toyota La Vista. Lexus joined the group in 1990 as Lexus of Omaha.
By the late 80s, early 90s, when Baxter opened a Toyota dealership, the brand had established itself and its vehicles as reliable and quality-made.
Toyota originally got its start in the United States on October 31, 1957. It started with only two models in the states: the Toyopet Crown sedan and the Land Cruiser. The Toyopet didn’t sell well – Americans thought it was under-powered and over-priced. Toyota discontinued it by 1961. The Land Cruiser grabbed much more attention and was able to carry the brand in the U.S. until 1965, when the Toyota Corona made its debut.
The Corona helped triple Toyota’s U.S. sales by 1966. Toyota kept gaining popularity, it received the title as the third-best-selling-import brand by July 1967.
The Corolla we all know and love today made its way to popularity in 1968. Now, the Corolla is considered the worlds’ all-time best-selling passenger car.
Toyota and Lexus
A few years later, Toyota started manufacturing their vehicles in the United States. 1982 marked the year the first Toyota built on America soil rolled out. It was a white Corolla FX16. But, Toyota continued evolving to fit American needs. In 1989, Toyota established their luxury line, Lexus. Toyota and Lexus’ first luxury vehicle was a Lexus LS 400.
The next year is when Baxter added Lexus of Omaha. And only one year after that, Lexus earned the title of Number 1 luxury import vehicle in the U.S.
Toyota and Lexus continued growing their lineups and working to be considered reliable, quality cars. Both brands also tend to be on the cutting edge of technology in new Toyota and Lexus vehicles as well as their prototypes.
Toyota proved that by making waves in 2000 with the launch of the Prius – the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle to hit the roads.
A couple years later, in 2003, Toyota and Lexus added the Scion brand to the group.