In a recently-uploaded video, Toyota gives us a rare, behind-the-scenes look at its California-based design studios, Calty.

Now, while Toyota has begun manufacturing many of its most popular models in the United States, including the No. 1 car on the American-Made Index, historically, the company sold imports. Yet, did you know that as early as 1973, before Toyota began manufacturing in the U.S., it was designing vehicles right in the Los Angeles area?

"El Segundo wasn't a campus," said Doris Kusumoto, Calty Financial Manager. "It was one portion of a modest building in an industrial area. There were about six designers and 25 people total in support. Meanwhile, we would hear that domestic studios had 300 modelers and 100 designers. The manpower available meant Calty designers had to know more about the package and the architecture of the cars since we only had a couple of studio engineers. Early on, there was an underdog feeling at Calty which helped make working there feel like a team effort."

That team spirit has kept Kusumoto with Calty for over 40 years!

Despite being small, that original design team created the iconic 1978 Toyota Celica Liftback, which was named the Motor Trend Import Car of the Year.

Since then, Calty has grown, and now encompasses three campuses. Recent models you may know and love designed by Calty include the FJ Cruiser, Avalon, Tundra, Tacoma, and Sienna. Test drive them here, at DCH Toyota of Torrance.

Categories: News, VIdeo

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