JapanToyota plans to sell an SUV version of its flagship Crown sedan in Japan, China and North America.
Crown SUV version will have both hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and pure electric (BEV) options. This move shows Toyota’s efforts to keep the 67-year-old product in the market for a long time while the consumer trend is increasingly moving away from the sedan.
First, the hybrid version is expected to go on sale from the summer of 2023 in China and North America. After that, the PHEV version will be available in the Japanese market. The BEV version is expected to be released in early 2024.
Produced since 1955, Crown is a luxury sedan with rear- or 4-wheel drive, with the same structure as the Lexus LS. This is the first model to mark the Toyota brand in the global market, and also the longest-lived model of the company.
The Crown was the first Toyota model sold in the US in 1958, but Americans found the sedan to be slower and more expensive than domestic models. Therefore, Toyota stopped selling Crown in this market only three years later.
In Europe, Crown appeared in 1962. But after 14 generations, Crown is only for the Asian market.
In Japan, Toyota sold 200,000 Crown units in 1990 alone. But in 2021, only 21,000 cars were sold. Also last year, Toyota said it could invest about $70 billion in product electrification by the end of 2030.
The new Crown SUV could be positioned under the Sequoia, and likely a replacement for the Land Cruiser no longer sold in the US.
America – England (according to Reuters)
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