You've heard by now that many automakers are giving up on selling small sedans in the US, with models like the Ford Focus and Dodge Dart gone from this market as customers gravitate toward crossovers. But Toyota isn't ready to give up on the segment -- far from it, in fact. For the Japanese automaker, which is launching an at dealers this month, less competition just means there's opportunity to grow.
"I'm OK with taking 100 percent market share of a 5.3-million unit segment," Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota Division Marketing, told journalists Monday at a media drive event for the 2020 Corolla in Savannah, Georgia. "We're staying bullish on sedans and small cars."
That's partly, of course, because Toyota's small sedans are already hugely successful. Taken together, Laukes said, the Corolla sedan and the midsize Camry would have been America's ninth-largest automaker in 2018, with a combined 624,000 sales here.
The Corolla has also traditionally been an important gateway to get customers into the Toyota lineup. Laukes said that for 24 percent of Corolla buyers, it's their first new-car purchase. And those owners tend to be loyal, wth 65 percent going on to buy another Toyota.
"Historically, Corolla owners have considered a Camry or a RAV4 as their next car," Laukes said. "Getting younger customers into Corolla is a priority for our company."
The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan was revealed in November 2018 and goes on sale this month. The standard model will offer both 1.8- and 2.0-liter gasoline engines, and for the first time in the US, there will also be a, which is rated for an impressive 52 miles per gallon combined.