CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

1957

Toyota Motor Sales USA established

Toyota moved into the American market in 1957, setting up shop on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. One of the most important and immediate tasks was to set up a dealer and distribution network that could serve this massive new market.

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1969

Gulf States Toyota established

Tom Friedkin partnered with the Japanese automaker to launch a bold new business distributing cars throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Gulf States Toyota would go on to become one of the world’s largest automotive distributorships.

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1972

Harwin Drive office opens

GST almost immediately outgrew its original Houston offices and moved into a new, much larger space on Harwin Drive.

1972

GST completes construction on Port of Houston vehicle processing site

GST’s Port of Houston facility underwent continuous updates and improvements over the years, becoming one of the finest and most efficient facilities in the automotive import business.

1980

Gulf States Toyota Trucking established

Gulf States Toyota Trucking, a division of GST, began with 10 transports that delivered Toyota products to dealers across the state of Texas. Known today as US AutoLogistics, the company operates across the U.S. to provide state-of-the-art transportation solutions to the world’s best automobile brands.

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1982

GSFSGroup established

GSFSGroup filled an important niche in the car-buying process by providing a full range of finance and insurance products to drivers. The company currently works with dealers across the country.

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1985

Wilshire Drive office opens

Continued growth necessitated another move for GST and other Friedkin businesses. In 1985, the companies moved to a nearly 150,000-square-foot facility on Wilshire Drive in Northwest Houston.

1986

GST Parts Distribution Center opens in San Felipe, Texas

In order to better serve dealers across the region, GST opened the Parts Distribution Center in San Felipe, Texas.

1986

Investing in Africa

Beginning in 1986, the Friedkin family has spent decades investing in Africa and helping to restore and preserve some of the most beautiful areas of Tanzania. Today, Legendary Expeditions provides world-renowned photographic safaris, while providing hundreds of jobs, enriching local communities and stimulating the Tanzanian economy.  

1988

GSM established

GSM is a full-service automotive marketing company that works with clients across the country to provide forefront, data-driven marketing solutions. The company has offices in both Houston and Louisville, Kentucky.

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1989

Westside Lexus opens in Houston

Westside Lexus opened its doors 30 years after Tom Friedkin founded GST, and it has consistently been one of the nation’s top Lexus dealerships. 

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1994

GST breaks the 100,000 mark in total vehicle sales

1994

Vehicle Processing Center opens in North Houston

Having outgrown its processing center at the Port of Houston, GST opened the Vehicle Processing Center in North Houston. At the time the facility spanned 80 acres, but it has continued to grow over the years. 

1995

Dan Friedkin takes the reins

In 1995, Dan Friedkin assumed leadership of the Friedkin companies and has provided innovative and visionary leadership to the organization for over a quarter century.

1998

Northside Lexus opens in Houston

Nine years after Westside Lexus, Northside Lexus opened its doors in the Houston area. It has consistently been named one of the top Lexus dealerships in America.

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2003

Toyota Center Opens

Houston’s premiere sports and entertainment venue opened its doors as the Toyota Center through a naming rights agreement in 2003. The home of the Houston Rockets covers six blocks in downtown Houston and plays host to some of the biggest musical acts in the world.

2004 - 2012

Dealerships open across the country

Between 2004 and 2012, additional Lexus and Toyota dealerships were opened across the country: Metro Lexus opened in Cleveland, Ohio; Lexus of Akron-Canton opened in Ohio; Lexus of Las Vegas opened; Lexus of Henderson opened in Nevada; Toyota of Greensburg opened in Pennsylvania.

2005

GST tops Chron 100 list

GST topped the Houston Chronicle’s list of the area’s top private companies for the first time in 2005. Since then it has remained a staple on the list, including taking the top spot for the past seven years running.

2006

GST’s Vehicle Processing Center expands to 150 acres

As GST continued to grow, the Vehicle Processing Center kept pace. In 2006 the facility was expanded to 150 acres, and GST sold nearly 227,000 vehicles by years’ end. 

2009

Enclave Parkway Campus Completed

The Friedkin Group’s current home at Enclave Parkway in Houston opened its doors in 2009. The LEED Certified facility is comprised of three buildings, including the largest Toyota training center in the U.S. and is home to GST, GSFSGroup and GSM.

2012

Diamond Creek acquired

With its astonishing, high-elevation views of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and a challenging layout delicately integrated into the natural terrain, Diamond Creek is consistently ranked as one of America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses by Golf Digest.

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2013

Toyota Stadium becomes home to FC Dallas

The center of soccer in North Texas officially became Toyota Stadium through a naming rights agreement in 2013. The Frisco, Texas facility, which is home to FC Dallas, includes a state-of-the-art stadium for soccer matches, concerts and football games and draws more than 1 million visitors each year.

2013

Investment in Auberge Resorts Collection

Auberge Resorts Collection is a leading portfolio of boutique luxury hotels, resorts and residences located in some of the most stunning destinations worldwide, including California, Colorado, Mexico and the Caribbean. In 2018 Auberge entered into a strategic partnership that brought Grace Hotels into its portfolio, which added locations in New England and Europe.

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2013

Toyota Field opens

In 2013, GST announced its naming rights partnership with Toyota Field, a brand new complex founded to support Morgan’s Wonderland and the San Antonio soccer market. Today, Toyota Field is home to San Antonio FC, a United Soccer League team managed by the San Antonio Spurs.

2014

Imperative Entertainment established

Imperative Entertainment is an innovative studio with a keen eye for bold and powerful storytelling that captivates and excites audiences. Imperative develops, produces and finances original and branded entertainment focusing on film, television and documentaries.

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2016

Pursuit Aviation founded

Pursuit Aviation’s team of highly trained stunt pilots, aerial coordinators and cinematographers of the sky work with some of the biggest names in Hollywood and the aerospace industry and are continually breaking ground in the aerial cinematography business. 

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2017

Congaree opens

Situated on an historic 18th century estate, and surrounded by more than 2,000 acres of fishing lakes and longleaf pine forests in South Carolina’s scenic Lowcountry, Congaree is a world-class golf club with a philanthropic mission at its core.

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2017

30WEST established

30WEST provides capital and strategic guidance to high caliber creative projects and forward-thinking companies operating throughout popular culture. 

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2017

Toyota Music Factory opens

In September 2017, GST announced its new naming rights partnership at Toyota Music Factory, located in Las Colinas, Texas. The venue hosts world-class entertainment at the new soul of the DFW Metroplex. Seating more than 8,000 spectators, it boasts an amphitheater, outdoor event plaza and more than 25 restaurants.

2018

Acquired NEON

After a successful collaboration on the hit film “I, Tonya,” 30WEST partnered with NEON to become the majority investor in the award-winning independent film distribution studio.

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