Car designed for Europe to return to Japan
Thursday 30 June 2011
In an unusual move, Toyota has announced that a car originally designed to meet the needs of European drivers will be launched in its domestic market.
The Japanese automaker will start selling its Avensis station wagon in Japan from September 19 and has set a modest initial sales target of 300 units a month - although that will rise if the vehicle proves as popular in Japan as it appears to have done in Europe.
While other Japanese companies are importing their cars into the domestic market, it is normally because they have set up production facilities overseas, where key costs (notably labor) are significantly lower - Nissan, for example, produces vehicles at facilities in Thailand that are then shipped to Japan.
It is far more unusual for a Japanese carmaker to introduce a car designed for a completely different market to consumers at home.
"Since its 1997 launch in Europe, the Avensis has developed an exceptional reputation as a Toyota-brand, European vehicle for its cruising performance, powerful design and quiet ride," the company said in a statement.
"To meet the needs of Japanese car buyers who prefer European styling, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. will produce the model from July through October for sales in Japan."
However, the vehicle will be up against some stiff competition when it arrives in Japan, including the Primera and Juke from Nissan and the Accord wagon from Honda.
The Avensis, which is now in its third generation, has apparently proven popular among European consumers due to its smooth handling on uneven road surfaces and winding roads, athough those requirements are likely to be less important in Japan, where the spacious interior and cargo space will be a stronger selling point.
The 2.0-litre vehicle is being assembled at Toyota's Burnaston plant in Britain and will retail for Y2.5 million (€21,500) after being shipped to Japan.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 5C could be killed next year, and Apple’s cheap and cheerful line might die with it
Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Coke milk? Coca-Cola to launch premium milk brand called Fairlife
Black Friday: Best fashion deals -online and on the high-street
UK's first plus-size fashion magazine Slink hits the shelves: 'Style doesn't stop at size 8'
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...
£25000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join...