Automotive News reported yesterday that Toyota has decided to leave the current Corolla on the market for an extra year and delay its replacement until 2008. This will be the current generation's sixth year on the market, which is a record and breaks the company's long-standing tradition of redesigning vehicles after their fifth model year.
Toyota cites the redistribution of engineering resources to ensure a smooth launch for the redesigned Camry as the main reason for the delay. Other automotive news outlets are speculating that the real reason is because Honda's new Civic has forced Toyota to go back to the drawing board.
For our part, we believe Toyota. The Honda Civic is currently enjoying a 17.1% increase in sales through the first six months of 2006 and has moved 165,056 units. Despite the Honda's critical success, the Corolla continues to steam roll its competition, including the new Civic, with a 38.7% increase in sales during the first half of the year, selling nearly 200,000 units. Clearly the Corolla can hold its own for one more year, which gives Toyota 365 more days to build a better Civic slayer.
[Source: Automotive News via The Detroit News]