Toyota, Audi, and Toyota: What’s next for the global toy industry
Toyota has said it will be launching its next-generation Corolla hatchback in 2018, after a series of delays, as it seeks to reduce emissions and maintain profitability in the Japanese car market.
The Corolla will be built at a new plant in Japan, the latest in a string of global announcements for the Japanese automaker, which has already announced it will shut down two of its US plants in 2019.
Toyota said it would launch the Corolla in Japan in 2019, but has yet to reveal details.
Its first US-built model will arrive in 2020, and it is expected to start sales later in 2021, said Tom Sizemore, senior vice president of global sales at Toyota Motor Corp (TM).
Toyota has been moving away from luxury sedans, which it has previously said would continue to make up most of its vehicle sales.
“We have said it’s time for a new era of Japanese luxury, and the first vehicle is the new Corolla,” Mr Sizecore told Reuters in an interview.
Toyotas new Corollas are due to hit the market by 2020.
The announcement comes as the world’s biggest automaker is looking to cut costs and boost profitability in a market where demand is low and competition is fierce.
“Corolla is a good start for Toyota,” said Richard Welsby, senior analyst at Jefferies.
“It looks like they will launch it around the time of the Tokyo Toy Show.
The company has been pushing the car in the US and Asia, but it needs to hit some sweet spots in terms of performance and price.”
Toyota is also targeting the Japanese market with its latest Corolla model, the XLE, but Mr Sizzelli said the Japanese company would be keen to keep its sales momentum going.
“Toyota needs to get its foot in the door of the Japanese luxury market,” he said.
However, the announcement comes with the company having a tough time meeting sales targets, which have been cut by a third in the past year.
Its Japanese rival Nissan has announced that it is cutting 500 jobs in the next three years, and its US sales are also falling as global car sales dwindle.
In the United States, Toyota is aiming to hit 100,000 Corolla sales a year by 2020, while Nissan has estimated its sales will fall by 20 per cent to 15,000 a year.
The Japanese carmaker’s sales are already below its target, which would mean it would need to cut up to 1.3 million jobs over the next decade to achieve its target.
“This is a difficult time for Toyota, and we are seeing that they have to do more to help the Japanese industry,” Mr Welser said.
“I think they are really struggling.
We are also seeing a lack of leadership in the brand from Toyota.
It has become the Japanese version of Ford.”
The Japanese automaton has been hit by a number of problems with its flagship Corolla sedan, which is the brand’s most profitable vehicle.
Mr Sizzero said the company had to make cuts at other key divisions to stay in the luxury market.
“The Corolla will be the key driver of growth in the U.S. market, but we have to cut back on other parts of the business,” he added.