• Oct 17, 2006
Toyota is attempting to breach the large car market in Australia, again. Although past attempts were not exactly stellar, it thinks now it may have what it will take to succeed with the Aurion. This large front-wheel drive sedan effectively replaces the lamentable Avalon in the only market segment the company hasn't managed to make a dent in so far. The Toyota Aurion has already been advertised quite heavily and will hit dealerships soon, starting at an MSRP of AUS $34,990, including an electronic stability system, side curtain airbags and a six-speed automatic transmission across the lineup.

Since practically the birth of the Australian large car segment, the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon have dominated the market. Challengers from Chrysler, Hyundai, Mitsubishi and even Toyota have failed miserably, partly because of national pride and the fact that rwd seems to rule the roost there. Toyota Australia chairman emeritus John Conomos, admitted that some "traditionalists" will stick with the Falcon and Commodore. Yeah, we think so, too.

But Toyota Australia senior executive director of sales and marketing David Buttner downplayed the power of that group of buyers: "The tribalists love tradition and grunt. They've bought the same car for generations, largely determined by what their father bought – or which car won at Bathurst. They are a diminishing sub-segment, accounting for about 20 per cent of the market."

Toyota expects to sell around 2,000 Aurions per month, the same target they set for the Avalon at which that vehicle failed miserably. Where the Avalon was a warmed over version of the U.S. Avalon, the Aurion is essentially a Camry with a nose job and rear end redo. The biggest draw, however, is under the hood, where resides an advanced 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces a class-leading 200kW of power. That's 20kW more than the Commodore and 10kW more than the Falcon. And it gets better mileage to boot, achieving an impressive claim of 9.9 litres per 100km traveled. It's worth it to note that Toyota is also planning a supercharged version of the Aurion released under the Toyota Racing Development brand. Good luck Toyota, you're going to need it in that market.

Thanks for the tip, SunRay!

[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Of course Aurion will succeed! By early reports it's a performer. I have not yet seen it but I'll bet it offers superior levels of comfort and appointments accross the model range when compared with the two big Aussies. History counts for nought in the new ball game. It's my guess Aurion will draw support from a wider buyer demographic than the big two have in the past. This "tribal dinasaur" (2 V8 Calais,1 V8 Statesman in the '90's - 2 Honda Legends this decade)is very interested.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "But Toyota Australia senior executive director of sales and marketing David Buttner downplayed the power of that group of buyers: "The tribalists love tradition and grunt. They've bought the same car for generations, largely determined by what their father bought – or which car won at Bathurst. They are a diminishing sub-segment, accounting for about 20 per cent of the market."


      -Would toyota dare say such a thing in the USA? With such arrogance? This statement really goes to show they are the "new" circa 1950's GM.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Toyota (and Mitsubishi for that matter) have a few major problems if its going to take on the might of Holden and Ford with Aurion.

      One obviously is the front-wheel-drive. Rear Wheel Drive is part of the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon DNA, and it is a big plus for towing and outback servicability, or if one is to specify a big engine with plenty of torque.

      Another is the lack of bodystyles. Sure it is ok for sedan market - but Toyota, you are completely ignoring the Wagon and Utility market - where Holden and Ford gain a fair number of sales from - However, it would help if the car was AWD optional or RWD first for a utility variant...

      Actually Toyota, if you want to look at a REAL Holden/Ford challenger, look at the V6/V8/Diesel-Rear Wheel-Drive Sedan/Wagon Chrysler 300C.
      • 8 Years Ago
      http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/add-toyota-launch-to-rivals-woes/2006/10/16/1160850869217.html

      apparently the holden V8s are having recall troubles...so who wants those anyway?
      • 8 Years Ago
      The average driver wouldnt know or care which end is driven and how many V8s are sold in Australia. From the above photo the Aurion looks OK, unlike the Avalon which was terrible. I am not a front wheel driver lover or a Toyota lover but be realistic.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sorry guys but that Toyota is only 5Kw more than the latest holden, which pump out 195Kw as a naturally aspirated 3.6 V6. Sure, Holden do make a 180KW V6, even a 15Kw gas V6, but Toyota are pushing this as a very sporty car, so why not chuck it against the SV6? Makes sense to me, which leaves them at 195 and 200 Kw to Holden/Toyota respectively. Toyota however, picked a bad launch, as the VE is just going to make a big boom. I want one anyway lol.
      • 8 Years Ago
      lol yeah Exactly....

      Camry's and Magnas (galants in the US) would be great cars if they were RWD....

      Same with most Hondas, driving any of them, you think.. this is a nice car, but if it was rwd......
      • 8 Years Ago
      Aussies want RWD & V8s. They're like Americans that way.

      This Camry-ion is unlikely to fly, not with shiny new Holdens with V8s and RWD just hitting the market. It's going to be stillborn.
      • 8 Years Ago
      you mean Toyota, #1 brand in the Australia?

      :-)

      Kind of interesting that nobody mentioned that fact...lol.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks good, but is too darn similar to its counterparts in Australia.

      Just hope it doesn't end up being another "sleep machine"...
      • 8 Years Ago
      10. Honest to God, guys. When you write a post like this, wouldja please do us the courtesy of including power, torque and fuel economy numbers converted from metric? You're the professional bloggers, right? Do you mean to tell me that it was so time-sensitive to get a post on the AURION up that you couldn't bother to hit onlineconversion.com?

      Posted at 12:33AM on Oct 18th 2006 by TheChaz 0 stars
      ----------------------------------------------

      Why should they have to?
      As pointed out above, it's a Toyota, so it's all you'll ever need: "speed" and "sophistication" (without ever having driven the car, mind you).

      Besides, only a "white supremacist" would ever drive anything else. All progressives drive Toyotas (somehow...).

      Autoblog is a joke, I tell you...hahaha...
      • 8 Years Ago
      uhh fuel prices are only JUST starting to wane here in australia, and there is nothing definite that they will continue to do so. the small to mid sized car segments have seen huge growth and increase in market share with V6's suffering losses and V8's being hit hardest, sales declining over 10%. australia wants fast cars if anything, not necessarily V8 power. i agree they want RWD, which has been a pitiful non-existence up until now in aussie cars.

      i see the aurion suiting the needs of a lot of the once commodore and falcon buyers simply because of the fact that running costs are a big part of everyday life rather than being in the periphery (due to their rising prices in comparison to what they used to be).

      focussing on all vehicles for a moment, remember, australia is becoming less and less dominated by the white supremacist that needs a big "shiny" V8 to show his worth, and is being replaced by people who want speed, power and sophistication rather than just 'grunt'.
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