Toyota remains committed to sedans as others pull out

In a market overrun by SUVs, carmakers are finding fewer and fewer reasons to stay in traditional segments. In the United States, Ford and Buick have already stopped production of sedans, with Lincoln soon to follow suit and Cadillac and Chevrolet both thinning out their offerings.

But every cloud has a silver lining, and in the case of Toyota, this means it has a bigger share of the remaining customers. According to Carscoops, the company has no plans of abandoning the passenger car market, as there’s still plenty of demand for lower-riding booted cars.

The lineup currently includes the Corolla, Camry, Avalon and Prius, and it will be expanded later this year with the new hydrogen-powered Mirai, which replaces its dumpy predecessor with a more imposing executive sedan body. That’s quite a full range, and the continued demand means they’re not going anywhere fast.

“It’s amazing how much of a demand there still is for sedans. We’re expecting a four-million-unit market for sedans in 2020,” said Toyota USA marketing vice president Cynthia Tenhouse. “We’re happy to take as much of that market as we can. For us, it represents roughly 750,000 in the US. That’s more than some other OEMs sell altogether.”

Specifically, nearly 770,000 sedans left Toyota dealers last year, a significant portion of the 2.1 million vehicles it sold in total. More encouragingly, 31% of those sales were from returning customers. “Those are pretty good odds for us. It’s clearly a segment we want to be in,” Tenhouse said.

Toyota also prides itself in the amount of choice it offers buyers. The Camry, for example, can be had with either a four-cylinder engine, a V6 or a hybrid powertrain, plus the option of all-wheel drive and a sportier TRD model. In all, there are 17 different variants. “We’re giving people more choices within each series,” Tenhouse added.

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