Toyota Catches The Millennial Wave… Prius Prime, Toyota 86, Corolla
To stay on top of what it is clearly a cooling automotive marketplace in the US and worldwide, Toyota is making some strategic moves to secure its future with younger car buyers. According to the company they believe that younger buyers view Toyota as an “aspirational brand.”
Last week Toyota showcased its 2017 line-up for the motor press in Ojai California for some spirited driving through the mountains of the Los Padres National Forest and out to the Pacific Coast.
The stars of the show were the new 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Plug-in Electric Hybrid, and the updated Toyota 86 sports coupe – formerly known as the Scion FRS.
First … with the new Prius Prime, Toyota is leveraging the enormous success of their hybrid program – which including Toyota and Lexus now includes 13 models – representing 70 percent of the all hybrids sold in America.
Even though low fuel prices have made hybrid sales a challenge in recent years, Toyota is betting that long term its green strategy – which is now focused increasingly on Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology — will resonate with younger buyers.
The Prius Prime bolsters its all electric range to 25 miles and its charging capability without plugging in … but most importantly they have changed the visual and tech appeal to capture the attention of younger buyers.
The Prius Prime was called out by the motor press at the Auto Show previews earlier this year for the aggressive styling up front and a provocative double wave rear window which is presented as a fuel saving aerodynamic feature.
But in the wild – out on the roads – the Prius Prime actually comes off looking sharp and the performance, especially the handling is greatly improved. And applying the full $4,500 hybrid tax credit to the base $27,100 model, the Prius Prime for $22,600 is an incredible value.
The new Toyota 86, an updated version of the kid racer coupe known previously as the Scion FRS, and the coming 2018 Supra sports car, are also part of the campaign to appeal to a younger audience looking for a fun to drive performance experience.
50th Anniversary Corolla
Perhaps the most important Toyota offering for the coming wave car buyers is the tried and true Corolla which is celebrating its 50th anniversary and with over 43 million sold, making it the best selling car in the world. For under $19,000 the Toyota Corolla is still a very impressive entry-level vehicle for young buyers.