LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. will delete two models that were part of its strategy to lure young buyers to the brand.
After 2005, Toyota no longer will sell the Celica coupe or MR2 Spyder convertible in America, Toyota said.
The MR2 Spyder and redesigned Celica arrived in spring 2000 as part of the launch of Toyota's so-called Genesis project, a precursor to the Scion youth brand. But coupe and convertible buyers are traditionally fickle, and the Toyota nameplates stumbled.
Celica's U.S. sales hit 52,406 units in 2000, but dropped sharply to just 14,856 last year. Sales from January through June fell 33.4 percent compared with the year-ago period. Celica sales also were expected to be hurt with the arrival of the Scion tC coupe this year.
The midengine, rear-drive MR2 Spyder suffered from lack of cargo space and never took off in America. Toyota sold just 7,233 units in the United States in its debut year, and fewer than 3,000 were sold last year.
Celica production will cease at the end of July 2005. Production of the Celica will be about 500 units a month through this December, then about 250 through July 2005.
Approximately 200 MR2s will be produced monthly for the United States until January. Both nameplates are built in Japan.