Toyota USA’s CEO says that the company will always have cars as part of their lineup even as other US carmakers slash coupes and sedans.
In case you haven’t heard, trucks and SUVs are big in today’s America. With loose emissions regulations and cheap gas, anyone can buy a big, polluting SUV or pickup truck and afford to run it into the ground.
Meanwhile, coupes and sedans are going the way of the dodo. GM has already cut several cars from their lineup and Ford has eliminated cars from their fleet entirely, save for the Mustang.
However, Toyota isn’t about following the trend of North America’s largest automotive manufacturers. They’re going to keep building cars come hell or high water, according to US CEO Jim Lentz.
Speaking at the Detroit Economic Club on Wednesday, Lentz said he believes that the dive in car sales is about to bottom out. Overall car sales fell below 30% last month, and Lentz doesn’t see it going much further than that. About 4 million cars are still sold every year, and as such, smaller vehicles like compact, subcompact, midsize, and full-size sedans will always be a part of Toyota’s lineup.
“There’s no way I’m going to walk away from that,” Lentz said. “We are always going to have a bias toward passenger cars.”
According to the Associated Press, overall car sales are expected to decrease by 800,000 this year compared to last year, while truck and SUV sales are expected to increase by roughly the same number. Large vehicle sales have been booming due to an ongoing era of cheap gas which has provided less economic incentive for people to purchase smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Toyota’s car sales are down 12% this year, while SUV and pickup sales are up 8%. Even still, Toyota will maintain their standby fleet of Corollas and Camrys, and are even introducing the Supra sports car sometime next year.
However, Lentz said earlier in November that Toyota is still taking a look at underperforming models, so we may see certain vehicles disappear from Toyota’s lineup.