Toyota Launches 11gen Corolla. No, You Can't Have It

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
toyota launches 11gen corolla no you can t have it

When a new generation of the world’s best selling car, and of the best selling cars of all times (accounts differ) rolls off the line at its factory, then this is usually a big deal. This time, it’s a smaller deal. The 11th generation Corolla that started production today at Toyota’s new plant near Sendai in Japan’s tsunami-ravaged north, is a little shorter than its predecessor. It breaks a tradition of carbloat.

Nevertheless, the new Corolla offers more. It offers it on the inside. Despite the fact that the car has lost two inches outside, the rear passengers are presented with an inch and a half in legroom. The turning radius also has shrunk a bit, which is appreciated in those tight Japanese parking lots and cramped garages.

In Japan, “Corolla” slowly morphs into a brand in its own right, with “Toyota Corolla” branded dealer channels and multitudes of Corolla models. Today, I saw a new JDM Corolla Axio (the sedan) and its station wagon sibling, the Corolla Fielder. Don’t run to your dealer just yet to buy the car that Toyota has shrunk. That 11h gen Corolla is for the Japanese market only. The Corolla Axio that took the stage today was in some kind of beige – not a derogatory color in Japan. In any case, it wasn’t beige, it was “melo shilubar,” or “mellow silver” in English (who said Japanese is hard?)

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda today dashed hopes, voiced by a reporter of a Sendai newspaper, that the new gen Toyota built near Sendai will be an export hit: “The Corollas destined for foreign markets are produced at the Tokuoka and Higashi Fuji plants.” To lift spirits in Sendai, Toyoda promised that “some may be shipped to New Zealand.”

Akio Toyoda today added two important tidbits to the storied history of the Corolla:

  • The official total of all Corollas made worldwide stands at 39 million as of today, Toyoda said. Not “over 40 million sold as of 2007,” as Wikipedia claims. 39 million as of today. Source: The boss himself.
  • The first car Akio Toyoda paid for himself “was a pre-owned 4th generation Corolla 1600 GT,” Akio Toyoda admitted today. Just one of the guys.
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  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on May 13, 2012

    Seems like every time they make some changes to a model, they refer to it as a new gen, when in actuality since 1993, there have been only 2 completely new from the ground Corollas, the 93 continued with the same basic architecture till 2002, they are still using the same platform from 03, albeit modified a lot, I had hoped for an all new architecture since they seem to come every 10 yrs, but I guess it costs too much and Toyota felt they one they have now is good enough to continue for at least another cycle.

  • SomewhereDownUnder SomewhereDownUnder on Aug 07, 2012

    They might be bland but they are fairly reliable. My family has had countless numbers from a original 66' to a brand new ones. FYI Over here, even 1966 corollas can still be seen.

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