51 Things That Happened in the Second Half of 2019

Do you feel like the last six months have gone by in a blur? Here’s a quick refresher to get you up to speed on Toyota’s year.

December 16, 2019
They say that time flies, which doesn’t really make any sense, because time is a construct, and also a flat circle. And one thing we know about flat circles, they don’t fly.
Whatever you think time is, we can agree there isn’t enough of it. We’re busy people. And you’ve got an important job.
So maybe you didn’t get a chance to follow every little thing that happened at Toyota in 2019. And that’s OK. Don’t feel bad. Just scroll down to check out 51 things that happened in the second half of 2019. (Btw, you can see what happened in the first half here. And, if you’re really behind, here’s 2018.)
As always, this is not close to an exhaustive list of happenings. Just stuff that caught our eye. Also, if you want to know more about an event, just click on it.

Business and Team Members 

Jim Lentz announces retirement as TMNA CEO; Ted Ogawa named as replacement

TMMGT/TMMBC Chairman Mike Bafan tapped to lead new Manufacturing Project Innovation Center.

In presidential shuffle, Millie Marshall retires, Leah Curry takes over at TMMI, Srini Matam heads TMMWV.

Lexus turns 30, doesn’t look a day older than 29.

Toyota invests $391 million in TMMTX.

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) sets diversity spend target for construction of Alabama plant.

VPPA could reduce Toyota’s US emissions up to 40 percent.

Tristan Friend gets ready to go back to war.

Jim Lentz brings a few team members to The White House.

Innovation fair shows off the best of Toyota team members.

Toyota Untold podcast begins its second season.  

The Toyota Experience Center opened in Plano.

At 100 Years old, Servco still Toyota’s exclusive Hawaiian distributor.

6 Million sold? TCUV is just getting started.

The North America Business Update hits the road to San Antonio.  
The new Toyota Mirai


Best color for a Corolla? Green. After all, it is the Green Car of the Year.

Toyota unveils RAV4 Prime, which gets an estimated 90 MPGe and feels unfair to other OEMs.

For those who wanted a Lexus LC 500 convertible, Merry Christmas.

Camry and Avalon with all-wheel drive? It’s a reality now.

Camry and Avalon with TRD treatment? It’s a reality now.

Toyota teams with Fenix to develop the first Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Utility Tractor Rig.

Super SEMA Supras surprise Supra superfans.

Toyota announces GR Supra GT4 will go on sale in Europe, North America and Japan next year.

The New Mirai makes hydrogen hot.

Lexus’ LF-30 Electrified Concept is a stunner.

Corolla Night Shade Edition now exists in all its white and black glory.

Tokyo Motor Show serves as grand stage for Toyota.



Full lineup of electrified Toyota vehicles coming to Tokyo Olympics…

…Including 20 specially-designed E-Palettes.

TRI ready to offer “Chauffeur” rides in Tokyo next summer.

The Concept-i gets an update and new name. Say hello to the Toyota LQ.

Four Simple Words: Tokyo 2020 Robot Project.

TRI demonstrates human-assist robot.

Lexus takes to the water.

Palmiero Toyota donates a Braunability Sienna to help a family with mobility challenges.

Sports, Marketing, Community and Other Stuff

Team Members Volunteer for NPLD.

Toyota awards $1,000,000 in scholarships to college-bound students.

Team Toyota represent! Toyota’s 202 athletes represent spectrum of Olympics, Paralympics.

Kyle Busch caps off Toyota’s dominant NASCAR season with a Cup Series title...

…And decides to drive for Lexus in the 2020 Rolex24 at Daytona.

“Family” campaign showcases action across Toyota lineup.

Toyota’s Mobile Child Safety Lab launches in Austin.

AWD Prius is absolutely “unbelievable” in new ad campaign.

Dealer Al Hendrickson surprises valet with a Corolla.  

Supra’s back on TV with “This is our sport” campaign.

These guys really love Supra.

…So does Memphis Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson, who bought a Supra for his dad.

Some Toyota Superfans brought their SUVs to Colorado.

Lexus “December to Remember back for 20th year.

New York Region and Toyota Dealers Association team up for sneaker giveaway.

By Dan Nied
Editor’s Note: Actually, one other thing happened this year. We gave away 2,743 Sockios to team members. And, we’re gonna give away 100 more today! All you have to do is click here and email us (driverseat@toyota.com) the answer to this question: Who is leading the new Manufacturing Project Innovation Center? (Hint – it’s literally the second thing on the list above). The first 100 correct answers get a pair of Sockios!

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