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50th anniversary Toyota Corolla gets improved dynamics, comfort

on March 25 2018 | in Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

The twelfth-generation Toyota Corolla will land in New Zealand later this year, almost 50 years after the first-generation model racked up 763 sales in 1969, the first year it was available here.

Toyota NZ is expected to market the new model as the 50th anniversary Corolla – its dealers are already talking about such a campaign. So are the Australians, where the Corolla is due around August and where 1.4 million Corollas have been sold since 1967.

In New Zealand, at the end of last month, 262,103 Corollas – hatchbacks, sedans, wagons – have been sold in nearly 50 years. That’s an average of around 5300 a year.

Its worst sales year after an introductory 1969 was in 1971, when 1046 were recorded, down around 38 per cent from 1695 in 1970. From then on Toyota never sold fewer than 2265 Corollas in a year.

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Its biggest year was in 1988 when 9817 sales were recorded. A year later, Corolla wracked up 9272 units. Its annual numbers since then have never reached those heights, mostly because of competing models from rival carmakers.

But Corolla still remains a rental car favourite. Of the 7806 Corollas registered last year, just over 5000 were bought by hire car companies. That’s roughly 24 per cent of the 2017 rental fleet.

The new Corolla, like the latest Prius, is based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, an underpinning with a lower centre of gravity for improved dynamics.

Toyota NZ’s product and new vehicle sales boss Neeraj Lala says the car has received a heavily European-inspired design. “It’s going to be a brand-new, ground-up build, with a more gratifying driving experience.”

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Corolla is longer than the current hatchback by 40mm, sits 30mm wider and 25mm lower than before, and has a slightly longer wheelbase.

The front overhang is 20mm shorter and the back overhang 20mm longer, a design change to accommodate more muscular rear wheel arches and, also like the Prius, a multi-link rear suspension.

All models are expected to pick up a bundle of safety technologies, the premium ones getting autonomous emergency braking (AEB).

There is also said to be a new 1.8-litre naturally aspirated, direct-injection engine with better fuel economy and more power and torque than the outgoing car.

Toyota Europe has said the 1.8-litre hybrid Corolla will return fuel use of 3.4 litres/100km (83mpg) to rival the Prius for economy.

For the trainspotters, annual Corolla sales over almost 50 years in NZ:

1969 ……………………………………………………………………………     763

1970 ……………………………………………………………………………   1695

1971 ……………………………………………………………………………   1046

1972 ……………………………………………………………………………   2802

1973 ……………………………………………………………………………   3305

1974 ……………………………………………………………………………   2265

1975 ……………………………………………………………………………   3454

1976 ……………………………………………………………………………   5171

1977 ……………………………………………………………………………   4610

1978 ……………………………………………………………………………   4909

1979 …………………………………………………………………………….  5409

1980 …………………………………………………………………………….  6138

1981 ……………………………………………………………………………    6352

1982 ……………………………………………………………………………   5568

1983 ……………………………………………………………………………   3955

1984 ……………………………………………………………………………   8929

1985 ……………………………………………………………………………   7961

1986 ……………………………………………………………………………   7418

1987 ……………………………………………………………………………   6288

1988 ……………………………………………………………………………   9817

1989 ……………………………………………………………………………   9272

1990 ……………………………………………………………………………   8606

1991 ……………………………………………………………………………   6262

1992 ……………………………………………………………………………   6055

1993 ……………………………………………………………………………   7573

1994 ……………………………………………………………………………   7108

1995 ……………………………………………………………………………   6629

1996 ……………………………………………………………………………   5851

1997 ……………………………………………………………………………   4788

1998 ……………………………………………………………………………   3590

1999 ……………………………………………………………………………   3410

2000 ……………………………………………………………………………   2615

2001 ……………………………………………………………………………   3509

2002 ……………………………………………………………………………   4304

2003 ……………………………………………………………………………   4379

2000 ……………………………………………………………………………   4893

2005 ……………………………………………………………………………   5060

2006 ……………………………………………………………………………   5297

2007 ……………………………………………………………………………   5078

2008 ……………………………………………………………………………   6645

2009 ……………………………………………………………………………   4695

2010 ……………………………………………………………………………   4886

2011 ……………………………………………………………………………   4150

2012 ……………………………………………………………………………   5317

2013 ……………………………………………………………………………   5992

2014 ……………………………………………………………………………   6471

2015 ……………………………………………………………………………   6518

2016 ……………………………………………………………………………   6274

2017 ……………………………………………………………………………   7806

2018 …………………………………………………    1215 after two months

 

 

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