Toyota to unify four Japanese dealers, merge twin models like Alphard/Vellfire, Noah/Voxy – report
Toyota sales channels in Japan have historically been divided across different dealers for different models, split between the Toyota, Toyopet, Corolla and Nets networks, though this arrangement appears set to change into a unified dealer network in May this year, Japanese site Best Car Web reports.
With this development, customers will basically be able to buy the same model at any Toyota dealer in Japan, which means there will also no longer be a need for replicated model lines. These include models such as the Noah, Voxy and Esquire that will be merged into one model line under the Noah banner, and some or all of the three nameplates are due for updates in late April, according to Best Car Web.
This means that the Voxy and Esquire trim variants will be significantly reduced. Base and intermediate trim levels for the Voxy will be discontinued, while the Esquire will drop the upper end of its variant grades, with the remaining versions to be consolidated into the Noah line, the report said.
The forthcoming MPV will be based on Toyota’s TNGA platform, said to retain a size similar to the outgoing models albeit with a slightly reduced overall height, according to the report. Powertrains are expected to be a pair of newly developed engines; a 2.0 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, and a 2.0 litre hybrid producing 146 PS at 6,000 rpm and 192 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm.
The new Noah will reportedly also come equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense suite, packaged to match or possibly even surpass the safety levels of the current Crown, Alphard and Vellfire, said Best Car Web.
As for the larger Alphard and Vellfire models, these could remain visually distinct in the future, with the Vellfire possibly carrying on in the line-up as a visual package for the Alphard. Both models are sold in export markets such as Malaysia, therefore it could make sense to continue offering both as distinct models.
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