The best-selling car in history is being shunted aside to make room for a new SUV that hasn’t been created yet. Toyota announced yesterday that it was nixing its plan to assemble the Corolla at the new U.S. plant it’s building in partnership with Mazda. Located in Huntsville, Alabama, the plant will instead be used to build a new, as yet unknown SUV when both the model and the plant are ready to go.
The company points to changing consumer habits, namely the still-increasing demand for small utility models, to explain its change of mind.
The new SUV to be built in Alabama will be presented to dealers during a private event in Las Vegas, Nevada in September.
Loss of momentum
Sales of the iconic Corolla are down in the U.S. this year by 5.3%, to 152,868 units. Of course, it should be noted that the segment as a whole is suffering, with sales down 16% during 2019 to-date. In 2018, sales of the Corolla had also declined in comparison with the previous year, by 7.7% (for 303,732 units sold). The peak year for sales of the model was 2016, when Toyota sold 387,388 of the Corolla to American buyers.