Toyota Sienna to Remained Mostly Unchanged Until 2021
Last redesigned in 2010, the Toyota Sienna is beginning to show its age, and though sales reflect this, Toyota is happy to let the minivan fade for the time being.
In the United States, Sienna sales in 2018 dropped to 87,672, a 21 percent decrease over the previous year and its worst performance since 2009. It fell from third to fourth in the segment, outsold by the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Pacifica, and Honda Odyssey.
Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America, explained the reasoning behind letting the Sienna fade. “When it gets late in its life cycle, you’ve got to decide—typically, we will prop up a vehicle late in its life cycle with incentives,” he said. “But you’ve got to look at the segment that you’re in. And in some cases, that doesn’t make good business sense to do, and I think that’s what’s happening with Sienna.”
Still Interested? Check out the 2019 Toyota Sienna
Toyota is planning to redesign the Sienna using its new TNGA platform for the 2021 model year, the same platform that underpins the popular Camry and RAV4. Until then any effort to increase sales would come by way of incentives.
But minivan sales dropped 0.3 percent in 2018 while the overall industry gained 0.6 percent, and building more Sienna minivans would also hinder production of the Highlander SUV at Toyota’s assembly plant in Princeton, Indiana, which Lentz believes is not a good tradeoff, as the Highlander rose 13 percent in 2018 with 244,511 sales.
What’s more, the Sienna’s position in the minivan hierarchy might be understated. The best-selling minivan was the Grand Caravan, but this was largely due to fleet sales where affordability and availability matter more than quality. Meanwhile, the Pacifica and Odyssey were only marginally ahead of the Sienna, which was about five times more successful than the next minivan, the Kia Sedona.
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News Source: Automotive News
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