Toyota’s Corolla Cross SUV makes global debut in Thailand
BANGKOK, NNA—Toyota Motor Corp. launched Corolla Cross in Thailand this week, the first global launch for the Japanese auto giant’s latest SUV.
Toyota Motor Thailand Co., its manufacturing subsidiary, started assembling Corolla Cross models at its Gateway plant in Chachoengsao Province, east of Bangkok, on May 25, when the factory resumed operations after nearly two-month halt due to the viral crisis, Michinobu Sugata, president of the local unit, said at a teleconference on Thursday.
Toyota chose Thailand to launch the model as the country has a wide variety of road conditions, and the company has seen growth potential in the medium-sized vehicle C-segment market in recent years, Nirinthana Chutiwongsatit, a Toyota Motor Thailand spokeswoman, told NNA.
The new SUV takes part of its name from Toyota’s iconic line of sedan, compact and sub-compact models.
“Since the launch of its first generation in Japan in 1966, the Corolla series has become a best-seller with cumulative sales of about 48 million cars in some 150 countries worldwide, Daizo Kameyama, the chief engineer at Toyota Motor in Japan, said at the teleconference.
Toyota expects to sell the Corolla Cross of 1,400 units per month in Thailand, Nirinthana told NNA, but did not disclose any estimate for revenue contribution to the local arm.
Toyota’s core subsidiary in Southeast Asia’s car production hub, also plans to export the Corolla Cross to other markets in Asia and beyond, but did not reveal further details.
Toyota has already trademarked the Corolla Cross name in the United States, according to auto industry reports.
The Corolla Cross comes in four models, priced from 989,000 baht ($31,600). Toyota began taking orders from July 9, and will roll out the model to Toyota dealers nationwide from July 24 onwards.