Toyota Starts C-HR Production In Turkey - Surging Subcompact CUV Category Gets New Member

toyota starts c hr production in turkey surging subcompact cuv category gets new

Bound for its North American production reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week, production of the Toyota C-HR began today in Sakarya, Turkey.

The C-HR becomes the eighth vehicle built by Toyota in Europe and the third model built by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey. The C-HR also joins a booming subcompact crossover segment that’s grown nearly 30 percent in the United States this year.

It’s a segment that now produces 3 percent of the U.S. auto industry’s volume, triple its share from just two years ago.

As new candidates join the fold, the overall segment grows its volume because existing nameplates tend — at least so far — to lose very little volume to the intruders.

Whether that will be true of the Toyota C-HR remains to be seen, of course. We don’t yet know its precise specifications, price point, or the breadth of Toyota’s marketing campaign.

But Toyota is a huge force in America’s SUV/crossover arena. The 4Runner, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, and top-selling RAV4 grew their collective U.S. volume to 536,334 sales through the first ten months of 2016, a 12-percent increase for a quintet that now accounts for three-in-ten Toyota brand sales.

The RAV4 is America’s second-best-selling utility vehicle.

The Highlander is America’s second-best-selling three-row vehicle.

The 4Runner is America’s second-best-selling body-on-frame SUV.

At Toyota’s upmarket Lexus division, the RX is America’s best-selling premium utility vehicle, and by a wide margin.

There is therefore plenty of reason to believe that Toyota can succeed in yet another utility vehicle category.

The Toyota C-HR exits a 5,000-employee Turkish factory that will now build 280,000 vehicles per year, nearly double the factory’s output prior to the C-HR era thanks to a €350 million ($384 million) investment. Toyota says the C-HR goes down the same line as the Corolla and Verso, although the C-HR is the first Toyota built outside Japan on the new TNGA architecture that underpins the latest Prius.

In order for the Toyota C-HR to reproduce RAV4esque dominance, the new Toyota will need to surpass the steadily growing Subaru Crosstrek (an admittedly large, but still sub-Forester, “subcompact”), the top-selling Jeep Renegade, and GM twins from Buick and Chevrolet that jointly hold 29 percent of the category, tops among any manufacturer.

Incidentally, with the market’s 6-percent slide in October, the rate of growth achieved by America’s subcompact crossover slowed notably just as Toyota readied production of the C-HR. While segment-wide sales rose 33 percent through the first three-quarters of 2016, October volume rose just 2 percent, year-over-year.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 16 comments
  • Mshenzi Mshenzi on Nov 09, 2016

    Any word of a US release date for this?

  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Nov 10, 2016

    CH-R should be at the LA autoshow next week. Along with Alfa SUV and old Jag production... Civic Si and Rogue One Star Wars edition...?

  • Ajla Are the sausage platter catering companies going to survive?
  • Chris P Bacon I have driven a few Alfa Stelvios, and they are fun on twisty roads. I love the looks, and that there just aren't a lot of them on the road. There was a time where they were leasing very very well, and I considered pulling the trigger on one. But then my local dealer closed, and is turning the building into a Mazda showroom. So my closest dealers are between 85-100 miles away. I've heard Alfa got their quality act together after 2019, and it's mostly common Stellantis parts these days. But since I don't have a local Alfa store to do the repairs, it's been a no go. I like the tonale, and since the Dodge is mostly Tonale, with access to a Dodge dealer for warranty work, I thought I might be interested. Sizewize, this thing falls right between the Compass and Cherokee, so it's not a penalty box. But I think at $30k, Dodge really stole Alfa's price point. It's literally the same car, Alfa could make money at $30k if Dodge can. Alfa might actually be able to attract some new customers if the Tonale was priced here. but at $37k to start for the Tonale, it's gonna sit on Alfa lots looking for a home. The Dodge really should be called the Fugazzi, not the Hornet.
  • Chris Tonn @maintenancecosts stay tuned. An XC90 Recharge arrived this week.
  • ToolGuy Jump ahead to the table labeled "The 20 U.S. newspapers with the highest circulation in 2000, with 2022 print circulation":https://www.niemanlab.org/2022/06/for-print-newspapers-one-florida-retirement-community-is-a-better-market-than-atlanta-st-louis-or-portland/
  • SCE to AUX Of course it's dead, as are most live meetings any more.Covid was the catalyst that killed off the live meeting paradigm forever. In my office, we now have Teams meetings amongst participants who are all in the building. It's just not worth the trouble to schedule a conference room and hunt people down to see if they can be present.To paraphrase Madonna (with an update), we're living in a virtual world.
Next