Toyota’s Expensive Auris Launch in Germany Pays Off
Toyota has a replacement for the Corolla in Europe called the Auris, and has pulled out all of the stops in order to ensure a successful launch on the Continent. Ground Zero for the Auris launch is Germany, which is giving VW, Ford and Opel nervous palpitations.
Corolla sales in Germany last year totaled 43,465 units, according to both JATO and ACEA, which, coincidentally, is rumored to have accepted Toyota as a member yesterday (ACEA has the 13 largest vehicle manufacturers in Europe in its organization and has previously rejected Toyota’s application for membership year after year). Sales of the Toyota Auris in Germany during the remainder of 2007 are expected to easily match the 2006 Corolla total and surpass 60,000 units in 2008. Corolla sales in Germany acoount for almost 30% of combined Toyota/Lexus sales in Germany, so any increase in this segment for Toyota really increases their overall sales.
Toyota spent over 2.5 million euros a day starting in late February by buying up space on every placard and billboard in every major city in Germany. It was Germany’s all-time largest billboard campaign. And it paid off: Toyota spokespeople say that since late February until the end of the campaign recently, over 300,000 car shoppers showed up at Toyota dealers in Germany looking for a new Auris. Toyota is calling the Auris launch the most successful launch of a Toyota vehicle ever in Germany.
2007 Toyota Auris 5-door
None of this is bound to make the market leaders in Germany feel very good. It looks as if the Toyota steamroller has fully arrived in Deutschland.