Toyota’s 2018 C-HR subcompact crossover will debut in Japan before landing in America. Image source: Toyota Motors.
Toyota Motors (NYSE: TM) once created a brand to try to break out of the bland, boring, and efficient stereotype its vehicles had gained: the Scion. Initially, the brand seemed promising and had a couple of hits before slowly fading into irrelevancy. But in a way, Scion’s heart beats on within Toyota’s 2018 C-HR, a vehicle that is surprisingly edgy and bold for the Japanese automaker.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: This year, SUVs are flying out of dealership lots while passenger cars are collecting dust. Because of that, it’s important for automakers to be ahead of the curve with SUV and crossover trends, since they represent higher transaction prices and fatter bottom-line margins than non-luxury passenger cars. That’s a good thing for investors: With vehicle sales plateauing in the U.S. market, the more high-dollar, high-margin SUVs/crossovers an automaker can sell, the better for salvaging its growth story.