The Camry and Avalon TRD sedans that appeared this month won’t be the last new Toyota variants worked over by the automaker’s racing arm. Toyota has a product offensive on the way and, while the effort will mainly be to update existing models, many of those vehicles stand to gain new sporting iterations â€” and drive wheels.
Toyota would prefer to TRD and AWD all the things.
Speaking to AutoGuide at the LA Auto Show, Jack Hollis,Â Group Vice President and General Manager of Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America, said, â€œIn the next 36 months, we will have 19 all-new, minor change or major change vehicles, not including special editions. Thatâ€™s a pretty strong commitment to the overall marketplace, both SUVs and cars.â€�
Hollis reiterated past claims that cars still have a home in the Toyota stable, adding that “we still strongly believe in the car market.”
Toyota’s stable is vast, though, and numerous SUVs are in need of a revamp. They include the Sequoia, 4Runner, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Tacoma, and Tundra, which make up the majority of Toyota’s sales volume, not to mention its profits.
â€œJust like weâ€™ve redone Camry, then Avalon, then Corolla and Prius, the same kind of thoughts will be coming as you look at all of our SUVs,” Hollis said. It’s expected that the brand will debut new additions to the light truck line, including a model bridging the compact-midsize gap. Rival Honda just premiered its gap-filled this week.
Going by Hollis’ figures, light trucks can’t account for all of the variants coming down the pipe. It’s clear that, as domestic automakers begin pulling up stakes in the small car space, there’s an opportunity to reverse (or at least slow) the decline of Toyota’s car models. That’s why it’s trying to broaden appeal across the range. The Camry and Avalon TRD are proof of that, as is the Corolla Hybrid, and one can’t forget the all-wheel drive Prius that debuted on Wednesday.
TRD and AWD. Hollis feels that’s the key to keeping Toyota cars alive. As such, the brand plans to add a TRD variant to every Toyota light truck and car still in production in the near future (there’s talk of a small cull looming). Wherever possible, AWD will also appear as an option.
“Weâ€™re taking each model and weâ€™re giving more choices for the consumer,â€� Hollis said.