Shortly after the end of the War, Toyota made efforts early on to get into world export markets. However, by that time competitors among American and European automakers had already penetrated many overseas markets and had established sales channels there, leaving little room for the entry of new competitors like Toyota. For that reason Toyota decided to focus on the less developed markets of the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South America first, where there was still room for growth.
At that time for Toyota the only model that could be competitive internationally, and also was capable of driving on poor and unpaved roads was the Land Cruiser. It was then in 1956 that Toyota embarked on a strategy of first penetrating these markets with the Land Cruiser, and then following it with passenger cars.
The local Toyota staff in these countries by no means had an easy time of it, but gradually the Land Cruiser established a strong reputation and became broadly accepted in local markets. In time it came to be exported throughout the world, and today enjoys a solid reputation for reliability.