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Thread: Toyota dumps TRD

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    Veteran Wally's Avatar
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    Default Toyota dumps TRD


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    Source:
    http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/Ar...eID=59808&vf=2

    It was designed to take on HSV and FPV, but before its second birthday Toyota's TRD brand has been killed off.

    Toyota's dumped TRD


    Toyota has ditched its Toyota Racing Development brand after just 16 months, blaming the current economic environment for the failure of the recently launched performance car outfit.


    "With the realities of the financial crisis and the downturn in consumer confidence, companies worldwide have an overriding responsibility to do their utmost to conserve cash - and Toyota is doing just that," says Toyota Australia senior executive director Dave Buttner.


    "The perspective has changed for business globally and those new rules require tough decisions for the greater good."


    The TRD brand attracted just 888 customers in its short life; 537 were for the Aurion TRD sedan and 351 for the hotted-up HiLux utilities.

    At the time of its launch, Toyota Australia said the performance car division was a world first and a possible global template for performance divisions of the company throughout the world.


    But sales have been sluggish and the brand never really threatened the dominance of Holden Special Vehicles and to a lesser extent, Ford Performance Vehicles.


    HSV is on track to sell roughly 4300 vehicles this year, down from 5222 last year, while FPV should sell about 2000 vehicles, down from 2127 last year.
    The collapse of Toyota's performance arm is a major embarrassment for a company that has dominated its rivals in recent years.


    At the time of the launch, Toyota said TRD was designed to inject some style, passion and performance into the brand, which has been criticised for its somewhat dowdy line-up and less than inspiring driving dynamics.
    The headline act for the brand was the 241kW TRD Aurion, which had a claimed 0-100km/h time of just 6.1 secs and was designed to beat Holden and Ford’s V8-powered muscle cars at their own game.


    But the car was widely criticised in the media for its dynamic flaws, which included a tendency for torque steer, which caused the steering wheel to tug hard in the driver’s hand under acceleration.


    The price tag was also seen as a major obstacle, with the base model costing a hefty $56,990 in standard guise and the range-topping model costing $61,500.


    The story was similar for the TRD HiLux, which was launched in April this year and copped criticism for its handling, lack of safety equipment and a daunting price range of $59,990 to $64,990.


    Toyota says it will focus on its volume-selling models.



    "Toyota has a responsibility to ensure its core business activities, and the people who rely on them, are protected for the long term," says Buttner.


    "In the current circumstances the decision is correct and the outcome will be positive."


    Toyota's head of product development, Peter McGregor, denies the division failed to hit the mark with Australian buyers.


    "I think the brand was incredibly strong and the cars were well-developed and well received. It's just the case that developing new vehicles in this environment is incredibly difficult," he says.


    He says the company was evaluating a number of other vehicles for the TRD range and was close to "pushing the button" on a TRD version of the RAV4 compact softroader.


    He refuses to say how much money Toyota invested in the TRD set-up, but says the business was still in the start-up phase.


    "We were at the point where we were still investing in it and there was going to be a period of time going forward where we still would have had to invest," he says.


    He says other products in the pipeline will fill the role of creating excitement around the Toyota brand.


    He doesn't rule out the brand being resurrected if the economy takes a turn for the better.


    "We never say never at Toyota," he says.


    A total of 17 people were directly involved in the TRD business and all have been offered re-deployment opportunities within Toyota.


    The future of the TRD rally team, meanwhile, is "under review".


    ----------------------------


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    if they made the trd aurion rwd so many more people would have bought it


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    I would have to agree with that, I think its dumb that all they need to do is ask a large random group what they would of wanted and most of the car guys would of said they dont want a FWD.
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    And why make a TRD Hilux! Poor decisions all round from this camp I must say.

    Maybe Toyota Australia should have gotten a bit more behind TRD... 17 employees? lolz
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    a 4wd turbo trd rolla/yaris or something by trd would have sold better than a hilux. They really didn't test our demographic very well.

    Looks like this was really aimed at the american market, as aussies want rwd family cars and mini "4wd". hilux just too expensive for the 20 somethings that it was aimed at. Better yet if they made the aurion 4wd with good suspension, the tuning capabilities would have been awesome.

    It really was a half assed attempt to realease a brand. Needed to be all or nothing, looks like it is goin to be nothing.
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    all the TRD cars were very over rated. I have driven the hilux and i would rather have the turbo diesel over the trd one, they are nothing special maybe if they tried harder it would be better, also with the aurion why have lots of power in a fwd, the stock one toque steers like a bitch i would hate to know what the trd one is like.

    these days toyota are making boring cars, people out there are boring these days and want cheep little cars because everyone is a tight ass.
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    damn tight ass's

    Well if the GTR is selling, why not make that new sprinter, turbo/supercharged or better yet twin-charged 2zz or better with 15*10 -27 offset Watanabe's, all fat and low for cheaper than the GTR, im sure a lot of ppl will by it.

    Thats when they can put the TRD badge on it :p
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    we should just send them 1000s of emails that are just walls off saying RWD RWD RWD

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    they should just import a few reiz's/mark X from china/japan and see if they sell
    its a pity they are closing trd down
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    Everything is based on sales im sure TRD will be back maybe in 3-5 years, maybe in that time they might have a good hard think about reinventing the RWD ? like they started to think about with the reinvented AE86 ?

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