Toyota Amazed By The Strong Demand Sedans Are Still Enjoying

Toyota doubles on sedans

As the auto industry shifts to trucks and SUVs, Vice President of Marketing Cynthia Tenhouse sees a bright future for Toyota’s passenger car lineup.

It’s no secret that the auto industry is undergoing a slight change. In fact, the surge in sales of trucks and SUVs has led several brands to eliminate all their sedan lines. But as other companies race for the hills, Toyota doesn’t just hold steady, it doubles.

The recent announcements of the 2021 Camry, Avalon XSE Nightshade Edition and Corolla Apex Edition prove it. Not to mention the very first Corolla Hybrids and all-wheel drive versions of the Prius, Avalon and Camry.

Strong demand from loyal customers

It makes sense for Toyota to expand its sedan lineup, especially now that there are gaps in the market. After all, the Camry has been the best-selling passenger car in the United States for 18+ years, the Corolla remains the best-selling nameplate in history, the next-gen Avalon has garnered rave reviews from critics and customers alike, and the second generation of the hydrogen-powered Mirai could be a game-changer later this year. Even though Toyota has embraced the popularity of trucks and SUVs – recently revealing its 2021 TRD Pro models and bringing back the Venza CUV earlier this year – it recognizes the importance of a solid sedan lineup.

“It’s amazing how much demand still exists for sedans,” said Cynthia Tenhouse, Toyota vice president of vehicle marketing and communications. “We expect a market of 4 million units for sedans in 2020. We are happy to take as much share as possible in this market. For us, that’s roughly 750,000 in the US, more than what some other OEMs sell in total. “

Indeed, out of 2.1 million units sold by the Toyota division in 2019, nearly 770,000 were sedans. Additionally, Tenhouse cites a compelling statistic: In 2019, 31% of Toyota sedan customers returned to purchase another.

“It’s a very good chance for us,” she said. “This is clearly a segment we want to be in.”

In short, Toyota continues to make sedans because customers insist.

People want cars

But just having sedans is not enough. They have to be cars that people want to drive. Toyota’s revamped sedan lineup has put the burden on tech-filled vehicles that focus on safety (Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ will be standard in the Camry lineup) and are fun to drive. More choices on the types of sedans have also paid off.

“A Camry buyer has 17 different choices, from V6, 4 cylinder, hybrid, all-wheel drive, TRD, XLE, XSE and more,” says Tenhouse. “We are giving people more choice in each series.”

Until February – before the COVID-19 crisis ravaged the industry – Camry’s sales were up 12.5%. Prius sales increased 29.7%.

Electrifying products

Which brings us to alternative fuels. Toyota has promised that every model in its lineup will have an electrified version by 2025. The sedan lineup is almost here. The Prius is the industry standard for hybrids, of course, and the second-generation Mirai is potentially revolutionary.

Until February, Camry Hybrid sales were up 16.2%, and about 35% of all Avalon purchases in 2020 were hybrids. Meanwhile, the new Corolla Hybrid continues to make its mark. In June, 23% of Toyota’s sales mix was hybrid, down from just 12% in June 2019. Toyota continues to explore all electrification options, from hybrid to battery electric to hydrogen.

With such a strong position in the sedan business and an incredibly bright future on the horizon, Tenhouse asks a pretty straightforward question.

“Why,” she asks, “should we not stay in this market?”

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