Toyota discontinues the Matrix for the 2014MY

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 8, 2013

No hoopla took place as Toyota decided to discontinue the Matrix from its 2014 lineup. Toyota put the blame on sluggish sales for its decision to make the 2013 model its last. According to Paul Holdridge, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. vice president of sales, the Matrix had an identity problem. Consumers were not aware if the Matrix was a wagon or a five-door hatchback.

Many didn’t even know that the Matrix existed. Holdridge told Edmunds that the problem was “asset allocation.” He said that the Matrix can’t be funded from a competitive set and that the company failed to promote it. Also, Toyota’s production focused on the Corolla so not enough Matrix units were built.

Holdridge said that the Matrix was “really a Corolla wagon." The same front-drive vehicle platform was used on the Matrix and the previous-generation Corolla. For the 2014 product lineup, the Corolla was redesigned. However, research proved that American buyers didn’t want the Matrix car. In 2012, Toyota was able to sell around 291,000 Corolla and Matrix cars combined.

A Toyota insider revealed that the Matrix made up just 4,300 sales of this figure. For this year, Toyota hopes to sell 300,000 Corollas here and 330,000 in 2014. Holdridge shared that there were instances when customers would go in a Toyota showroom and comment that a Corolla was too small for their needs.

After the salesperson offers the Matrix, the response is usually that they’re not aware that Toyota made it. Toyota has dropped plans to add a Corolla wagon but a five-door hatchback is in consideration. Last year, Hyundai expanded the Elantra lineup, including a five-door hatchback.

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