Toyota sees chance as sedan rivals drop outJune 30, 2018 @ 12:01 am
DALLAS — Toyota is treating plummeting U.S. car sales as an opportunity, not as a worrisome trend
threatening one of its biggest strengths.
As light-truck sales began to surge several years ago, Toyota executives scrambled to meet crossover
demand even as they suggested that car sales were stabilizing.
The same thing happened last year as the mix tilted even further. But even with the market approaching
a 70-30 split in favor of crossovers, SUVs and pickups, Toyota still sees cars as core to its identity. It has
spent billions of dollars overhauling its sedans and hatches — and making sure its franchise player,
the Camry, remains No. 1.
“We’re always going to have a little bit of a bias relative to industry numbers towards passenger cars,
whether it’s Prius, whether it’s Corolla, whether it’s [Lexus] ES,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor
“We think we have a competitive advantage in things like hybrids. So we think we’re always going to be
able to provide a value proposition to the customer in passenger cars, and as a result hopefully get a
big share,” Lentz told Automotive News.
Regardless of what Ford and GM do, Toyota looks like it will be hanging in there offering more cars to buyers
and no doubt contnuing strong sales as those two exit certain segments. So I wonder whether there will be a
"face saving" move from Ford to double back on cars with an "Active" Fusion/Mondeo....in Hatch or S/Wagon.