Toyota Motor Corp. on Sunday promised U.S. dealers a slew of new products -- including hot utilities such as a redesigned three-row Highlander coming this year -- as it tries to remain the nation's top-selling retail brand.
Toyota Division General Manager Jack Hollis told dealers at the NADA Show make meeting that the brand intends to introduce 19 new, redesigned or freshened vehicles over the next three years. That includes the recently unveiled Supra and a Corolla and Corolla hybrid sedan this year.
In addition to punching up its utility lineup, Toyota remains committed to the sedan segment, even as rivals such as Ford and General Motors abandon it or pare back, Hollis said. That will be a competitive advantage for retailers moving forward, especially as Toyota and its dealers expect to lose market share on the popular Tacoma midsize pickup with new segment entries such as the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator, he said.
"We're still committed to being a full-line manufacturer," Hollis told Automotive News.
The brand seeks to improve dealership profitability, which Hollis described as roughly even last year compared with 2017. Still, when the numbers are finalized, 2018 will end up being among the brand’s top 5 years for dealership profitability, he said.
Hollis detailed a slew of hybrid models on the horizon but noted that the brand is holding off on offering full-electric vehicles until there's a better business case.
"The equations around electric aren't making money," he said.
Toyota typically ranks among the most-liked brands in the industry, and its dealership network is consistently profitable, which usually means pleasant make meetings. Sunday was no different; the scheduled 75-minute session ended 20 minutes early.
"They're on top of things in terms of the product mix," said Stephen Wade, owner of Stephen Wade Toyota in St. George, Utah. "Day in and day out, they score really well with us."
Another dealer declined to comment beyond simply saying: "It was a Toyota meeting. Of course it was good."