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The Toyota Yaris is Probably Doomed in the U.S.

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/13/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2015-Toyota-Yaris-SE-front-three-quarter-view-in-motion-32© Motor Trend Staff 2015-Toyota-Yaris-SE-front-three-quarter-view-in-motion-32

We learned last week that Toyotamight pare down its lineup as demand flatlines in the U.S. Now, Automotive News is detailing which vehicles might be on the chopping block.

Consumers are shifting from passenger cars to crossovers, and Toyota has struggled to keep pace in recent years. With a car-heavy lineup, Toyota has offered big incentives, and profitability in North America has suffered. One easy area to cut is the subcompact segment, which was down 21 percent from all manufacturers in the U.S. through October.

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Speaking with AN, Toyota Motor North America CEO Jim Lentz hinted at impending doom for the Yaris. Toyota sells a sedan and hatchback version of this vehicle, and both have seen declining sales.

"Yaris doesn't do much in the U.S.," he said. "I'm not sure, at least in the U.S., how important that segment is."

a car parked on a city street© Motor Trend Staff

We might also see fewer Prius variants at the dealership. Toyota discontinued the Prius v wagon after the 2017 model year, and we wonder if the Prius c hatch will be the next to go based on Lentz's comments. "There may not be a need for [the] Prius family in the future," he said.

Toyota will rebrand its hybrid portfolio to emphasize both performance and fuel economy, Lentz added. Customers need to know a Toyota hybrid "can be economical, but it can also be fun to drive." Toyota wants its hybrids to increase from about 9 percent of total sales today to 15 percent in 2020. And by 2025, Toyota aims for all of its nameplates to offer some form of electrification.

Lentz also hinted at fewer coupes. Today, there are three offerings: the Toyota 86, Lexus RC, and Lexus LC. Unlike Ford, Toyota isn't keen on getting rid of its high-profile sedans in the U.S. Corolla and Camry will remain important parts of the brand, he said.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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