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Slow small car sales won't kill the Toyota Yaris hatch

The 2021 Toyota Yaris hatchback is here to stay despite slow sales in its segment and the arrival of its more sales-friendly SUV brother.

3 weeks ago
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Australia's New Car Calendar
Australia's New Car Calendar
Scott Collie
News Editor

Toyota Australia won’t let slow sales kill its Yaris city hatchback.

The long-running light car nameplate will shortly be joined by the Yaris Cross SUV and GR Yaris hot hatch, with Toyota Australia targeting 10,000 combined annual sales from its three-pronged range.

It expects up to 55 per cent of those sales to be the Yaris Cross and a further (roughly) 10 per cent to be the GR Yaris in 2021, given it has secured an allocation of slightly more than 1000 cars.

That means there’s roughly 3500 sales left for the more expensive Yaris hatchback.

To date in 2020, the brand has sold 3821 examples of the Yaris. The best-selling car in the light under $25,000 segment is the MG 3 with 4947 sales to date this year, followed by the Kia Rio (3855) and Yaris.

“The Yaris hatch still has a significant role to play in the Australian market,” Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, last week told media.

“Whilst that market is declining, we still believe there is a market there for that smaller hatch specifically,” he said.

Sales in the Yaris hatchback’s segment are down 46.3 per cent to date in 2020. The segment’s decline has seen the death of the Renault Clio, Nissan Micra, and non-ST Ford Fiesta, while the starting price of cars like the Yaris has risen above $20,000 before on-road costs.

With a starting price of $22,130 before on-road costs, the Yaris is just $1750 cheaper than the larger, more powerful Corolla hatch and sedan. Its predecessor was priced from $15,490 drive-away.

The best-selling MG 3 bucks the trend, with a starting price of $16,690 drive-away. It does, however, lack active safety features such as autonomous emergency braking.


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