Toyota’s European boss is promising that the company will ‘come up with more surprises, more often’ in a bid to make its cars more exciting and more competitive.
Speaking to What Car?, Karl Schlicht said that future Toyotas would have improved interior quality and be better to drive. He also reiterated the mantra of the company’s global boss, Akio Toyoda, that the company wouldn’t make decisions based on profitability or sales volumes, paving the way for the return of low-volume sports cars such as the Celica coupe and MR2 roadster. It’s also likely that a version of the high-performance FT-1 concept - which was shown at the Detroit show in January - will be made.
However, Schlicht was keen to stress that the company will also be concentrating on mainstream cars and is investing heavily in a new platform, dubbed TNGA, on which all future models will be built.
Despite declining sales, the Mondeo-rivalling Toyota Avensis will be directly replaced. ‘We’re not leaving the sector, we will be making a new one,’ Schlicht said.
He also responded to criticisms of the Auris hatchback’s interior quality, hinting that it will be addressed in a face-lift in the near future. ‘It’s going to be fixed quite quickly. We need to improve the materials, touch and feel of the cabin.’