California Autos Examiner

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Toyota future cars and product plans: What is ahead for the brand?

2010 Toyota 4Runner

Toyota has a virtual armada of vehicles in its portfolio. Between its three brands, there are view few (if any) segments in which the company does not offer a product. What will the company be offering consumers over the next few years?

Click to view a picture gallery of Toyota's current portfolio.

For 2010 the biggest news is the Prius. You really can’t walk 10 feet with seeing a new Prius or seeing an advertisement for the car. Receiving less attention, but also very important, the Camry received upgrades for 2010. There is a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, fresh grille and bumper, all models will get stability control and (very important to me) all windows get auto up/down functionality. This week Toyota just gave us a glimpse of the all-new 2010 4Runner. We’ll be finding out more about the SUV in September.

Looking past 2010, Toyota will offer a new Sienna minivan in 2011. How exciting can a minivan be? Well, since I am an owner of a current model Sienna, I’d say it’s a big deal. Don’t expect any earth shattering changes as Nissan found out the hard way, radical designs are not welcome. The Sienna will be moving to the “MC” platform used by the Camry, Prius, RAV4, Venza, and Highlander. Look for 2011 to be THE YEAR OF THE MINIVAN as Honda and Nissan are also expected to introduce new models into the segment. The large Sequoia SUV and Highlander crossover will be freshened in 2011. Less certain is whether the small Tacoma pickup will get a freshening in 2011 or 2012.

In 2012 there should be a flood of new product: The Camry, Yaris, Avalon and RAV4 are all candidates for all-new models.

You’ll notice that I did not mention the Venza, Tundra, Land Cruiser, Corolla, FJ Cruiser and Matrix. That is because the Venza, Tundra and Land Cruiser are not expected to see any serious updates over the next few years. The Corolla will likely receive a freshening before a full model change, but it’s timing is unclear. The FJ Cruiser will likely die after its current generation and the Matrix’s future is up in the air now that Toyota’s NUMMI plant is shutting down.

Say tuned for Lexus and Scion updates!

Source: Information for this report comes from previous reports by this author and information from Automotive News.
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