Toyota’s Raize, the Japanese automaker’s latest SUV of compact size, will arrive for sale in the Mexican market. The SUV will not be available to US shoppers due to a stronger predicted demand in Mexico and other developing countries.
Built by Japanese automobile manufacturer Daihatsu and billed as a Toyota global product, the model is only 400cm long and 170cm wide with 17-inch wheels. The Raize SUV will slot under the Toyota Corolla Cross and be the fourth distinct model built with Daihatsu apart from the Wigo, Avanza and Rush.
Features also include an 8-inch touchscreen with Toyota’s old infotainment system, a push-start button and a back-up camera. With a cargo capacity of 13ft3 with the seat up, the SUV is a convenient option for short travel powered by a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic transmission and a front-wheel drive. The SUV is powered by a turbocharged 1L three-cylinder engine and has 92 hp and 140Nm of torque. Although an all-wheel drive is available globally, the models coming to Mexico will only count with two-wheel drive. Last month, Toyota had also announced the arrival of the Corolla Cross, a mini-SUV that would replace the discontinued C-HR.
The model is the most accessible SUV by Toyota and looks to attract a younger audience to position the brand as a leading option in the Mexican market. The Raize is currently the second most successful model by Toyota in its home country. The prices for the model’s different versions range from MX$333,900 (US$15,914) to MX$355,900 (US$16,963). Toyota is looking to sell more than 7,000 in Raize’s first year in the Mexican market.
Toyota has noted the mini-SUV market being the second most proliferous industry in Mexico with more than 30 options in the market, opposite to the US where a predicted lack of sales prevented the model from being launched. The model has long been rumored to be the company’s replacement to the Yaris model in Latin America. The model is also rumored to be manufactured in Brazil in a couple of years although it arrived to the region through Panama last October.
With auto sales facing a disappointing end of the year, accessibility is Toyota’s bet for recovery throughout 2022. Tom Sullivan, CEO, Toyota Motors Mexico, affirmed the company will reach its 80,000-unit sales goal for 2021 despite the many challenges throughout the year, such as the semiconductor shortage halting production in many plants which is expected to continue next year.
The company was still able to place fourth in the Mexican automotive industry with a market participation of 8.8 percent behind GM, Nissan and Chrysler. According to Guillermo Díaz, Operations Vice President, Toyota Motor Sales Mexico, the results from this past year were deeply influenced by the company’s electrification, a trend that is expected to continue.