The Toyota Crown is an automobile which has been produced by Toyota in Japan since 1955. It is currently a line of executive sedans primarily aimed at the Japanese market and sold in other Asian markets.
Introduced in 1955 as the Toyota Crown, it has served as the mainstream sedan from Toyota in the Japanese market throughout its existence and holds the distinction of being the longest-running passenger-car nameplate affixed to any Toyota model, along with being the first Toyota vehicle to be exported to the United States in 1958. Its traditional competitors in Japan and Asia have been the Nissan Cedric/Gloria/Fuga and the Honda Legend, along with the defunct Mazda Luce, Isuzu Bellel and Mitsubishi Debonair.
Available at Toyota Store dealers in Japan, the Crown has been popular for government usage, whether as a police car or for transporting government officials. It has also been popular with Japanese companies as company cars along with use as a taxicab. While a base Crown was available for many years aimed at the taxicab market, the increasing opulence and price of the Crown line led to the creation of the Toyota Comfort in 1995 as a more affordable alternative. Outside Japan, the larger Lexus LS took over the role of Toyota’s flagship sedan in 1989 in the company’s global lineup.
In North America, the first through fourth generations were offered from 1958 through 1973. It was replaced with the Toyota Corona Mark II. The Crown has also been partially succeeded in export markets by its closely related sibling, the Lexus GS, which since its debut in 1991 as the Toyota Aristo has always shared the Crown’s platform and powertrain options. Later models of the GS and Crown have taken on a very strong aesthetic kinship through shared design cues.