It was earlier reported that Toyota might pull the plug off the Corolla sedan here in India. We have the old generation Corolla Altis on sale at the moment in our market, while the model has changed globally. It is now being said that Toyota is planning to continue with the Corolla for the D1 segment in India. With brands like Honda showing commitment with the new Civic in our market, and Skoda Octavia and Hyundai Elantra also in showrooms; Toyota might as well have the Corolla as an option for potential buyers.
There is no denying the fact that this segment has changed and diminished drastically. Thanks to the shift to SUVs in our market, and even worldwide. Customers now prefer mid-size SUVs over traditional sedans, leaving the Corolla to be bought primarily by fleet operators. Although segment sales are poor, the Corolla Altis is still the segment leader with nearly 50% market share. That should be a positive note to consider a new model.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla has already been revealed for the global markets, and is based on the GA-C TNGA platform. The new Corolla looks much sharper and sportier than the Corolla nameplate has looked, ever. However, the new model might not get a diesel engine option, but a full-hybrid model of the next-gen Corolla might be considered. But then, it would be very expensive as per segment standards.
Another problem for this segment is the pricing. C2 segment sedans like the Honda City, Toyota Yaris, Skoda Rapid, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Hyundai Verna and the likes are now priced close to INR 16-17 lakh on-road. That used to be the cost of the Corolla sedan a few years back. With pricing having moved up the ladder, the upgrade in the sedan segment isn’t really happening, also because the lower segment cars also come with more or less the same features with just a little compromise in the rear legroom. And if you consider the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, it beats the current Corolla Altis in outright space, and at almost INR 7-8 lakh cheaper price tag.