Toyota Kills Flagship Avalon
The Toyota Avalon has been hiding in the shadows for years. We think that is what owners like about it. You can squeeze the trigger without anyone noticing, and then go about your business in luxurious anonymity. The recently restyled Avalon does get noticed a little more, but most people assume it is a hot Camry.
Toyota never gave the Avalon much if any marketing love
One reason why Avalon’s days were numbered is because Toyota does little to advertise it. The carmaker made it official yesterday advising the Avalon will be killed off in 2022. Toyota’s flagship sedan will go the way of the Edsel and Trans Am.
Next year the Avalon was due to be refreshed. That may be why Toyota is axing the model then. Toyota’s purchasing department gave the bad news to suppliers to prepare for ending supplier manufacturing.
“While Avalon will be discontinued after the 2022 model year, Toyota remains committed to the sedan segment and we encourage customers to stay tuned for future developments. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky production capacity and employment will not be impacted,” the Japanese automaker said in a statement to Automotive News.
The Avalon is another casualty in the sedan segment
The large sedan segment is shrinking as the SUV zeitgeist continues unabated. Toyota’s Avalon was its version of a Lexus ES 350. It featured many of the luxurious appointments that the Lexus has. Even a hybrid is offered.
And sales were improving. The first half of 2021 has seen sales increase almost 40-percent to 10,328 sold. But that is still one-quarter of Dodge Charger sales which tops the large sedan segment.
In 2000 the Avalon sold 103,878. Last year the pandemic numbers fell to 18,421. Its sibling ES 350 sees sales slightly higher on average every year. But Avalon buyers feel they are getting a Lexus without the expensive badges.
The Avalon is the second car Toyota has killed in a year
Toyota has now killed two cars just in the last year. In 2020 the hatchback Yaris was discontinued. Such as it goes with the car segment in these SUV days.
In the sedan segment what is left? The shrinking large sedan category is left with the Charger, Chrysler 300, and Nissan Maxima. American manufacturers have dominated the segment almost since the beginning of the automobile itself.
It’s a stunning change for the automotive landscape that once considered big, lumbering sedans as a status symbol. Every year before and after WWII millions of sedans were sold. It is only in the last 20 years that the industry has seen such a shift. And with the onset of the electric vehicle, it is in the midst of another right now.