Toyota is reportedly killing the Crown sedan after 65 years of continuous production
Alongside the Land Cruiser, Toyota's longest-running model is the Crown, a large, rear-wheel drive sedan that has been a staple on Japanese roads for 65 years. It has served faithfully as taxis, police cars, city cars, and something a Japanese grandfather would proudly own. However, a new report from a major Japanese newspaper, the Chunichi Shimbun, says Toyota will kill him next year.
The krone was introduced in 1955, at a time when most Japanese citizens could not afford their own vehicles. Most of the cars were sold to taxi services, but their ubiquity made them a staple of the city's streets. It was even Toyota's first import into the United States, sold here from 1957 to 1971. Each successive generation grew more luxurious as Japan's economy boomed, and the model became synonymous with Toyota's decades of domination in the domestic market.
The Crown, now in its 15th generation, is also a favorite of customizers who turned the canonical sedan into lowriders, VIP sleds, and drift machines. The hiring was received by Japan's auto enthusiasts with similar grief as Ford's demise of the Panther platform in the US.
Although Toyota did not comment on this development, the Chunichi reports that the decision was made on the basis of - surprise! - bad sales. They report that the average Crown customer is over 60 years old and the market has quickly become a preference for crossovers and SUVs. The last Crown update in 2018 initially saw sales of 50,000 but dropped to 36,000 the following year. Although sales in 2020 were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Toyota is on track to sell just 18,000 units by October.
The writing was on the wall. Since 2005 the Krone has shared a platform with the Lexus GS, which according to Lexus will be discontinued in April. According to Chunichi, while the Crown sedan is dead, the Crown name could live on as an SUV based on the Highlander.
While the crown may not bring about the same fond memories among enthusiasts in the United States, it is sad every time a model with such a storied and long history is killed. It seems to many that Toyota is very serious about crushing its most cherished nameplates and losing the goodwill of its fans by outsourcing its Supra and 86 and getting the Land Cruiser out of the way.
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