Toyota is currently looking to adjust its car-truck sales ratio in the US to 60-40 in favor of light trucks, as opposed to the roughly 50-50 split it has now.
Its newest weapon for this push is of course the sporty-looking C-HR crossover, which made its US debut at the LA Auto Show earlier this month.
The C-HR currently fills a big hole in the Japanese automaker’s lineup, and word around the industry has it that it’s likely to make a big splash come spring time, as reported by Autonews.
“It’s not always that Toyota has a product that will stand out in the market,” said Bill Fay, Toyota General Manager. “But we’re optimistic based on the feedback we’ve gotten so far.”
Once out, the C-HR crossover will compete against rivals such as the Chevy Trax, Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. How well it does against these other models will by critical seen as how small crossovers are now the entry point to many brands when it comes to young new-vehicle buyers looking to trade up from small cars, but also to people downsizing from larger cars and utility vehicles.
“I’m very optimistic for 2017, because we’ll have a better supply of RAV and Highlander,” added Fay. “We’ll launch this beautiful C-HR and will be in a much better position to meet customer demand on the sport-utility side of things.”
While the automaker still plans on selling more pickup trucks in 2017, its expansion of the Tacoma plant in Tijuana won’t happen until late next year or even early 2018 – meaning shortages will continue. Still, Fay has confirmed that Toyota shouldn’t struggle with adjusting their production from sedans to light trucks seen as how its North American plants have been stretched to capacity already.
“We’ve been able to move the production around in a way that we haven’t needed to lay anyone off, which is good.”
This is of course in contrast to GM announcing it would cut over 2,000 factory jobs due to slowing demand for small cars.