Toyota Australia says that the upcoming Supra sports car’s role is far more significant than just sales, rather helping further raise brand perception and lead the way for a potential range of sportier variants across the brand’s other models.
The new Supra, which is expected to arrive sometime in 2019, will help launch the Gazoo Racing brand in Australia, essentially replacing TRD and sit as a halo car for the Japanese brand that is actively seeking to offer more exciting and sportier vehicles.
Meanwhile, Toyota Australia continues to say the Supra is wanted, but not yet 100 per cent confirmed – though we would bet there’s a next to zero chance of the car not coming here.
“We are doing very comprehensive market studies right now,” Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, told CarAdvice in San Diego last week.
“Let’s not beat around the bush we want this car, we are just doing our market studies and volume studies, we will do those studies and make sure there is a good market here.”
So whilst Toyota dances around confirming the Supra for now in the name of making a business case, it’s pretty obvious that it will form part of a much larger project for the Japanese brand in Australia.
“You saw the reaction already from Geneva (where the car’s design was unveiled in the form of a racing concept). Whilst I have no update on confirmation of that car, we are deep in study of that vehicle. There is a strong desire to bring that car to Australia, [but we are] one step short of confirming it.”
“There’s no doubt from a Supra nameplate brand perspective, there is a desire, but actually also it plays a more significant role than volume, it’s not just about sales volume, Supra will represent to us a big brand statement.”
That big brand statement will form what will potentially be a larger range of sporter Gazoo Racing models including the upcoming Toyota Corolla GR and perhaps even performance versions of models such as CH-R and others.
It’s evident that Toyota customers, as well as Toyota dealers, are not only keen for the Supra but also other sportier models across the range.
“Our dealers, like our customers and the market and as we do at Toyota Australia, we have strong desire to bring this car to market,” Hanley said.
All the talk of Toyota’s resurgence in terms of sportier vehicles appear to be finally coming to fruition. The launch and success of the Supra may also see the brand invest in the likes of Celica and MR2 to complete its once mighty sports car line-up.