Toyota Pulls Plug on Matrix for U.S.

The Matrix saw its best sales year in the U.S. in 2002, racking up 66,836 deliveries, WardsAuto data shows.

October 3, 2012

2 Min Read
Toyotarsquos Matrix continues to be sold in Canada
Toyota’s Matrix continues to be sold in Canada.

Toyota confirms its Matrix compact hatchback has been sent out to pasture in the U.S.

The model, which debuted in ’03 as the Corolla Matrix, saw declining sales in recent years and is ended with the ’13 model year, Toyota U.S. spokeswoman Toni Honsowetz tells WardsAuto.

Toyota had been toying with eliminating the model, with former Toyota Div. head Bob Carter telling WardsAuto last year that the Matrix’s future was shaky given the slowdown in U.S. deliveries.

However, the fact that it was “huge” in Canada gave Toyota some pause about cutting the car, Carter, now senior vice president-automotive operations for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said in May 2011.

Toyota continues to sell the Matrix in Canada, Honsowetz says.

The Matrix saw its best sales year in the U.S. in 2002, racking up 66,836 deliveries, WardsAuto data shows. This year, sales fell to 3,334, down 51.0% from January-September 2011.

In Canada, 10,653 Matrix sales have been rung up through September.

The Matrix was a platform mate of the defunct Pontiac Vibe, although while the Vibe was built alongside the Corolla sedan at Toyota’s former Fremont, CA, plant, the Matrix was assembled in Cambridge, ON, Canada, also alongside the Corolla 4-door.

The loss of the Matrix comes at a time when 5-door hatchbacks are experiencing a renaissance in the U.S. Ford now offers a hatchback Focus, which accounts for 43% of all Focus sales, and Hyundai just launched the GT version of its Elantra. Mazda continues to retail both 4- and 5-door versions of its Mazda3.

Hatchbacks are more plentiful, however, in the B-segment, with the Chevy Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent all available with five doors.

Media speculation before last week’s Paris auto show pegged the European Toyota Auris as a Matrix replacement for North America, but Toyota said it isn’t.

A next-generation Corolla is due in 2013 in the U.S.

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