yaris_sedan_hatch.jpg

UMW Toyota managing director David Chen said in an interview that Toyota would be introducing several new models this year. They will be CBU units as previously reported, and the first will come in 2 months time, which would be somewhere at the end of April or the beginning of May.

The new car will be a CBU model, and it will be a small-sized car. It could be the Toyota Aygo, but rumours are that it’s the Toyota Yaris, also known as the Toyota Vitz or the Toyota Belta.

A bit of name confusion here, but let me clear it up for you. The Toyota Vitz is a little sporty hatchback while the Toyota Belta is a Vitz with a boot, recently launched in Japan. In other markets, the Toyota Yaris hatchback is the Toyota Vitz while the Toyota Yaris sedan is the Toyota Belta. They are available in 1.0 litre and 1.3 litre engine options. Photos of the sedan and hatch are in the image above.

I’m not sure whether the sedan or hatch would be introduced here though. It’s likely the hatchback, as the sedan form with CBU tax brackets would probably cost near to the Toyota VIOS price range, and having two city sedans in that price range doesn’t make sense.

UMW Toyota’s target for this year is to break the 100,000 cars sold figure. It sold 92,000 last year. Other cars like the Toyota Camry and Toyota Corolla Altis will continue to be on sale as usual, but the Toyota Corolla Altis will face competition from the new 2006 Honda Civic this year, so I’m not sure if Toyota will facelift it again or introduce a new model. Toyota’s market share is 16%, and is the leader in the non-national car segment for 16 years continuously.

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