LOS ANGELES -- Toyota is using its versatile new global platform to underscore a commitment to its powerful sedan and hybrid franchises, even as the overall U.S. market loses interest in those segments.
The proof is on display in Los Angeles this week, where Toyota followed this month's introduction of the 12th-generation Corolla with the first ever hybrid version of the car and an all-wheel-drive version of its signature Prius hybrid, alongside "track-tuned" versions of the Camry and Avalon sedans.
The diversified lineup reflects Toyota's search for niches and frontiers where it can generate incremental volume and higher profits from its core car models, while it sorts out clutter among its small cars. Toyota's North American operations are under pressure to deliver more profit to sustain the parent company's investments in advanced r&d.
Toyota executives credit the Toyota New Global Architecture for opening up its car offerings to greater variety and segmentation.
“The TNGA platform as a strategy has opened us up to just about everything that a manufacturer would want to be,” said Jack Hollis, general manager of the Toyota Division at Toyota Motor North America.
In addition to more creative styling on models such as the Camry, Avalon and RAV4, Hollis said, “it’s allowed us to also create more efficiency and more effective use of space. So while we might not have been able to fit a certain engine into a certain vehicle [before], now it can be. The TNGA has opened almost every single vehicle to growth and innovation.”