We're a big market, and that gives us some influence
Toyota Australia claims it had a significant voice in the engineering and product planning for the new Corolla, thanks largely to its popularity Down Under.
The Corolla remains the world’s best-selling car, with about 45 million sales to date. Of that figure, Australia has accounted for 1.4 million – around one of every five Toyotas sold locally. It has been our best-selling passenger car for the past five years.
That level of popularity has given a us great deal of influence in Japan.
“As one of the biggest markets for Corolla we have a strong big voice into the chief engineer,” Orlando Rodriguez, Toyota Australia communications boss, told CarAdvice.
“Product planning department gets involved pretty heavily into what we need and what we want, we have our own vehicle evaluation department that helps with localisation and testing.”
Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, put it more simply, noting Japan’s decision to listen to our requirements is just good business sense.
“In the development of this car, Australia has had a significant voice, simply because of our market size and sales,” Hanley said.
Asked for specific examples of where Australian influence can be seen in the new Corolla, Rodriguez highlighted the new car's extra performance and sportier dynamics.
“We have pushed to try and get some of the more leading-edge technologies, as an example the 2.0-litre direct injection technology. We are always trying to push for better technology and performance as well, that includes efficiency and power.”
Systems like road sign recognition have been tested locally, and there will also be a specific Australian tune to adjust the vehicle’s suspension and dynamics to suit our market. Nonetheless, it may not be unique just for our market.
“It’s a global car with multiple tunes, you wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily for Australia, but we have had an input for a tune and that tune may be used for elsewhere.”
The new Toyota Corolla lands in Australia from August with three grades and two powertrains.