Toyota U.S. sales rose 27 percent last year, thanks in part to strong sales of its recently expanded Prius lineup and the Camry sedan.
Now, Toyota is turning his attention to the Corolla, Toyota’s dated small car.
The company unveiled a concept version at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week showing hints of a radical styling change for the Corolla.
The company must now decide how edgy it can go with the Corolla’s styling, to win over new customers, without losing longtime buyers.
U. S. Chief, Jim Lentz stated this week that over the past two difficult years, “I don’t think we’ve lost existing buyers. I think we had a slowdown in conquests (from other brands). Very shortly after the recalls, our loyal buyers – partly because of the great treatment they received from our dealers through all this – very quickly came back to the brand because they understood there were not issues with the electronics in our cars. Those that didn’t have an experience with us, either with a product or our dealers, weren’t quite sure what to believe.”
Lentz went on to say, “Last year, 40 percent of our sales were new products. This year we’re going to have another nine new or redesigned vehicles. I think that will continue to bring the conquest buyers back. Are we back to the level where we were prior to all the crises? Not yet. But we’re approaching that.”