Toyota wants to make its new Aygo minicar a cult hit.
When the Japanese automaker launches the car June 1 in 10 European cities, it will use marketing techniques that have helped make its Scion brand a winner with young people in the US.
"We will take the car out of the traditional showroom and bring it to the customer through special events, experience centers and concept cafes," said Andrea Formica, Toyota Motor Europe's vice president for marketing and sales.
Toyota calls its target group the E (emerging) generation -- young city dwellers who are highly mobile and are savvy users of the Internet and low cost airlines.
Formica said Toyota in Europe has failed to reach this group in the past but says that with the Aygo marketing, "We want to get right into their lifestyle."
The Aygo will be launched in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Prague, Berlin, Munich, Rome, Milan, Madrid and Barcelona.
The Aygo is the smallest, by a few millimeters, of the three minicars that are being built at the new Toyota and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen joint venture plant in Kolin, Czech Republic.
Peugeot will market its 107 to reach young people and buyers of second-hand cars. Citroen will target the C1 at safety-conscious consumers who want a second or third car.
The sister French brands will not coordinate sales and marketing for their minicars. "We are competitors," said Frederic Saint-Geours, Peugeot managing director. "That's the way it works best."
The 107 and C1 will cost about E8,500. Prices for the better-equipped Aygo are likely to start at just over E9,000.
-- Sylviane de Saint-Seine contributed