Toyota may be losing its fans because it has failed to update the Corolla, its top-selling model. The current Corolla, which is priced from $16,360, is the 10th generation of a model presented more than 44 years ago.
Its cumulative sales from 1966 through last year have exceeded 37 million units. It was last updated in 2008 and industry analysts say that it isn’t expected to get a makeover until at least 2012. Toyota has not mentioned a date.
One example of a disappointed Toyota fan is Doug Hacker of Milford, Ohio, who was aiming to get a small car from Toyota. After Hacker tested the Corolla, he was turned off by its old-fashioned four-speed automatic transmission and the fact that it didn’t have a fuel-efficient direct-injection fuel system.
Instead, he bought Ford Motor Co.'s 2012 Focus. For most of last year, Toyota hogged the headlines due to recalls of more than 8 million vehicles for various defects, including faulty fuel pumps to floor mats that could make accelerator pedals stick.
It appears that the carmaker had not paid attention to the aging of its biggest-selling model. [via autonews - sub. required]