To call Toyota a juggernaut in the automotive industry would be an understatement. For example, Q3 profits for the company were $5 billion. Needless to say, Toyota has plenty of cash at its disposal.
Some think Toyota should then play things loose, because after all it has a huge lead on the competition. What these people fail to understand is Toyota didn’t come this far by not trimming the fat. The company is smart, if not sexy at times, and that leads to plenty of money.
One way Toyota is looking to stay lean and highly profitable is to trim back its lineup. Pretty much every sensible automaker with a full lineup is looking at doing the same, like Mercedes-Benz considering scaling back its many niche products. Toyota won’t do anything crazy like Ford and slash all cars, but the North America CEO did mention two areas of possible cutbacks when speaking to Automotive News.
The two segments mentioned were convertibles and coupes, which seems pretty odd. Toyota doesn’t make any convertibles for the North American market, plus there’s only one coupe (soon to be two with the Supra).
A better explanation comes from the Financial Times, where the same CEO says passenger cars are on the chopping block. After the demise of Scion, Toyota gained quite a few small cars. That’s probably where the cuts will be, and it makes sense. In this market, trucks and crossovers are the hot items. It sounds like products will be fazed out slowly over the next few years.