“We are looking at that segment of the market and asking ourselves some questions,” Toyota’s European boss, Johan van Zyl, recently told Autocar. “We’re very satisfied with the performance of Avensis now - the product is doing fine for us. But we’re asking if the next step should be another D-segment saloon [sedan] or something else.”
A spokesman for the company said they are "monitoring the D-segment as it declines and suffers from heavy discounting." Last year, the mid-sized model managed only 25,319 across Europe, down 28% over 2016. That's about 1/7 of what the Volkswagen Passat achieved.
Avensis sales topped in 2004 when 142,535 units were sold in Europe. So the car used to be pretty big, but it's not anymore.
The model is made at the Burnaston factory in Britain, a market where the Avensis sold only 3473 units last year. Of course, you'd need heavy discounting to sell such an old car, as the current 3rd-gen was introduced back in 2009. It received its first facelift in 2012 and the second one in 2015.
Toyota isn't the only company giving up on sedans. Volkswagen recently announced the new Jetta wouldn't be coming over. Meanwhile, America is slowly giving up on cheap hatchbacks, like the Ford Fiesta.
The publication mentioned above says that Toyota is considering a smaller Auris sedan in the Avensis' place. But won't that overlap with the Corolla?