FT-1 concept, the inspiration for 2018s Supra revival

FT-1 concept, the inspiration for 2018's Supra revival

The imminent end of North America's 2016 model year sees Toyota winding up Scion division but retaining certain models and changing their brand. In China, in Europe, in Japan and elsewhere, the Toyota model range is also being expanded. This first of a two-part analysis examines current and future models, with a report on Lexus to follow.

Kei class mini cars

For decades, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) allowed its subsidiary Daihatsu to be the group's sole brand in this huge segment of the Japanese market. That changed in September 2011 when the Daihatsu Move Conte was restyled and given Toyota badges, thus creating the Pixis Space. This little car was followed by two mini-LCVs three months later, and the Pixis Epoch in May 2012. The Pixis Mega was then released in 2015. 

All Pixis models use DNGA (Daihatsu New Generation Architecture) and their replacements will also have this as their basis. The new Space and Epoch should appear in 2017 and then the next Mega in 2019.

A segment

If you ignore the low volume i-Road city commuter, which has been around since 2013, Toyota offers surprisingly few A segment models. The iQ, in production since 2008, is still built and will be for a short while longer but no replacement is envisaged. Its main region was meant to be Europe but Toyota Motor Europe (TME) stopped importing it some time ago.

The Aygo, a JV with Groupe PSA, is wildly successful and after a facelift in 2018 should remain in production at Kolin in the Czech Republic until the third generation model succeeds it and its Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 brothers. This should take place in 2023 after a nine-year production run. Those three models will most likely use PSA's EMP1 platform - today's triplets are based on TMC's NWC architecture.

Not to be confused with the Aygo, the Agya is a different small car for lower income countries in parts of Asia. Released in 2013 and built in Daihatsu's Suryacipta plant east of Jakarta, the Agya is the twin of the Daihatsu Ayla. Both are rivals for the Mitsubishi Mirage and use DNGA. A modified car, the Toyota Wygo, is exported to The Philippines. All these models will be replaced from the second half of 2019 but the platform stays the same.

B segment

Here it gets interesting, and complicated. Let's look at the Prius c first. This car, marketed in Japan as the Aqua, is a big seller (121,240 for H1 of CY2016). It's manufactured by Toyota Motor East in that company's Iwata plant. The successor model should be in Japanese showrooms in 2018, having switched platforms to the low-cost and lightweight TNGA-B (Toyota New Global Architecture-B segment). 

The Sienta is the latest example of TMC's uncanny ability to launch blockbusters in its home market. More than 60,000 examples of this minivan were sold to Japanese buyers in the first half of 2016, and production has recently been added in Indonesia. It uses a relatively old platform, its 2015 release having been too early for TNGA-B, but the successor due in 2023 will be based on an evolution of that architecture. 

Now we come to a model which has traditionally been mainly for Europe, the Yaris. In Japan it's the Vitz and in North America, from the 2017 model year onwards, the sedan is the Yaris iA - formerly it was the Scion iA. The next generation model (model code: 865A) will be out in a few months' time. Build should be at the same locations as the current generation - i.e. France, Thailand, Japan and China. The car will use the B segment version of TNGA. Production will last until 2023.

The Etios, a small sedan, crossover and hatchback series for lower income countries, is due to be phased out in some of these markets during 2017, though Brazil's range will continue until 2018. The India-made Etios is expected to be replaced by a version of the Vios, a similarly sized model built elsewhere. The vehicle's project code is 046B. The current Vios has been around since 2013 and will continue in production until 2021. Most production takes place at Toyota Motor Thailand's Gateway No.1 plant.

As for small MPVs, the Ractis (Japan) and Verso-S (Europe) will soon have a successor which is codenamed 560A. It is due out later this year and will be based on TNGA-B. Toyota Motor East will build the new Ractis at Iwate in Japan.

A car which is mainly confined to Japan and other parts of Asia is the Passo. The current model, like the previous generation of this small five-door hatchback is supplied to TMC by Daihatsu. The Daihatsu Boon is closely related to the Passo and the cars are built on the same production line. They were the first two models for DNGA, going on sale in Japan in April. We won't see replacements until 2022 and these will use an evolution of DNGA.

The Porte and Spade, two other compact cars, are sold mostly in Japan. The existing four-year old models are retailed through different dealership networks. Each of these has a sliding passenger door which can be opened and closed by buttons on the dashboard or keyfob. The driver's door is conventionally hinged. Kanto Auto Works' Higashi-Fuji plant in Shizuoka prefecture should commence making the third generation models in 2020. These can be expected to use TNGA-B.

Toyota hasn't been a strong player when it comes to small SUVs though the Rush is the exception to that general rule in some countries. This rebadging of the Daihatsu Be Go sold well for many years in the Indonesian market but its age is now against it. A new model should be released in 2017.

TME has never had a competitive compact SUV but that's set to change from the fourth quarter. Larger than the Nissan Juke but smaller than the Qashqai, it is similarly proportioned to another quirky crossover, the Citroen C4 Cactus. Series production of the Coupé High-Rider at Adapazari in Turkey is due to commence in October. North America gains this model for the 2018 model year in April 2017. Expect a lifecycle of six and a half years.

C segment

The Corolla is Toyota's lifeblood in the global Compact segment, and especially so in North America, where the car leads all others of a similar size. This will be the main product for the company's first car plant in Mexico, which is due to open in 2019. Guanajuato is the first factory to have been designed especially for TGNA models and this will mean a shorter production line than is traditional. 

Generation 12 of the Corolla should enter production in Japan first (Takaoka and Miyagi plants). This will be in 2018, with build of the Auris in England (Burnaston) and Corolla/Levin in China (Changchun and Guangdong) coming later that year, and then North America. There will also be plug-in hybrids with production for China having already been confirmed. FAW Toyota will build the Corolla PHEV, while Guangzhou Toyota will manufacture the Levin PHEV.

The Prius is the other main model for TMC in the C segment. The new plug-in hybrid is due out at year-end and will be called Prius Prime in North America. Production of this car, the 680A, will be based at Toyota Motor Kyushu (Japan). Then in 2017 comes the follow up to the Prius a, also known as the Prius v or Prius +. This will be based on TNGA and manufactured at Tsutsumi (Japan).

The RAV4 has grown and grown over the generations, to the point where the current model is almost D segment sized, having started life in the 1980s as a B segment model. We won't see the next edition and its hybrid derivative until 2019 and this will use TNGA-C. 

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) is to become the Toyota's North American hub for sports utility vehicles, with a line-up consisting of the Lexus RX at Cambridge and the RAV4 at both Cambridge and Woodstock. Cambridge North will have significant amounts of money spent on it, much of it to make the plant compliant with the needs of manufacturing TNGA vehicles.

Other important future models for the C segment include 552A, which is the next Wish. The existing 660L version of this compact minivan is especially successful in Japan and certain ASEAN markets. Like the related Verso-S replacement, it will use TNGA-C.

D segment/Mid-Size models

What is to become of the Avensis? This car has failed to make much of an impact in its European segment, selling at an average rate of 30,000-35,000 units a year since the launch of the current generation in 2008. TME delayed making a decision on a replacement several times, and it would seem that 445L (sedan) and 446L (wagon) will reach ten years of production and then be axed. That would create a capacity utilisation issue for Burnaston in the English Midlands: surely building a true rival for the Qashqai there is the answer?

Toyota has no such problems in North America: despite the segment which it leads having shrunk due to the rise of SUVs, monthly Camry sales in the US are about the same as total yearly deliveries of the Avensis. In July, even with an 11% YoY fall, still more than 34,000 units of the car were sold in its best global market. And YtD, the total is down by only eight percent, to 233,882.

The next Camry will use TNGA. It should be launched first in Japan in the third quarter of 2017, to be followed soon after by North America, Russia and other markets. Again, there will be a hybrid.

Pick-ups, SUVs, crossovers and...a minivan

The Hilux, Toyota's long time best selling pick-up, is fresh from the launch of a new generation model in 2015 and should remain in production for another eight or nine years. The similarly sized Tacoma, also replaced in 2015, will have a lifecycle of about the same period. A Tacoma hybrid will probably be added for North America's 2018 or 2019 model year. 

The other pick-up for the Americas, the Tundra, is now becoming quite elderly, which has been a rare mistake made by TMS USA. As truck sales surge, Tundra deliveries are down by 8.5% to just 65,440 (US market, 1 Jan-31 Jul).    

The next Tundra, which is expected for the 2018 model year, should gain a new frame and new engines. A hybrid variant is also expected. There have also been claims that a Cummins V8 diesel will be optional. The engine specialist already supplies Nissan with a 5.0-litre V8 for the Titan.

As for Toyota's other big body-on-frame models, the Land Cruiser Prado is up for replacement in 2017. The new model will again be manufactured in Japan by Hino Motors (Hamura plant) as well as in China by Sichuan FAW (Chengdu). The larger Land Cruiser is also due to be replaced next year. It is to be built at the Tahara plant. 

Like the current model, the next 4Runner will have a ladder frame chassis and be related to the Tundra pick-up. The sixth generation of this model may be revealed as soon as this September - at the State Fair of Texas - and go on sale by year-end. 

There are a couple of other models which sell in decent numbers in their main market, the USA. The Sienna will inevitably take a hit from the arrival of the Chrysler Pacifica, though for the year to the end of July, numbers have been holding up, with 79,959 deliveries being only a three percent dip year-on-year. The next generation model should enter production at TMMI's East Plant (Princeton, Indiana) during 2017.

The Highlander, which is now three years old, is coming up for a mid-cycle styling refresh, with the successor due for the 2020 model year. Next time around, the Hybrid may be replaced by a PHEV. Also known in some countries as the Kluger, production will be alongside the next Sienna at TMMI East, and in China by GTMC: Guangzhou Toyota Motor Company. A version of the next Camry's TGNA architecture will be the basis of these future generation minivan and SUV models.

Finally, the Supra. This revival of a large sports GT is said to be on schedule for release in 2018. As is well known, the project is a JV with BMW. The Toyota will be a hatchback and the BMW, which will replace the Z4, will be a roadster. It is believed that Magna Steyr will manufacture both cars, on the same line at its Graz plant in Austria, at a combined volume of up to 60,000 vehicles per annum.

Details of a full list of worldwide Toyota vehicles can be found within PLDB, just-auto's current and future vehicle database. 

Lexus models will be the subject of the second and final part of this in-depth look into the future model plans of Toyota Motor Company.

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