Toyota wants the RAV4 to dominate compact crossover segment

Article by Anita Panait, on August 26, 2013

Executives at Toyota are aiming to make the Toyota RAV4 the best-selling nameplate in the compact crossover segment. Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales USA, told dealers at Toyota Division's national dealer meeting in Atlanta that he expects the carmaker to sell over 200,000 RAV4s this year, up from 171,877 units sold in 2012.

Despite this expected sales figure, the RAV4 will remain be behind segment leaders Ford Escape and Honda CR-V.  Toyota has sold 120,812 RAV4s in the first seven months of 2013, compared with 178,969 Escapes and 172,989 CR-Vs. Carter told Automotive News in a phone interview that he was referring to future aspirations when he told dealers that they are aiming for the RAV4 sales to hit 250,000 units.

He remarked that selling 250,000 RAVs is within the growth of compact crossover market, adding that the strength of Toyota’s offering “puts it within the realm of possibility." He also remarked that 250,000 is not achievable in 2014, primarily because Toyota is still securing additional production capacity.

Toyota can build up to 200,000 units of RAV4s annually at its Woodstock site in Ontario, excluding overtime outputs. However, the Ontario site is serving both Canada and Mexico, which means that Toyota is importing a good number of RAV4s from Japan. Toyota has imported 41,390 units from Japan for sale in the United States in the first seven months of 2013.

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