One of the most successful models in the history of the automobile has slowly started to begin being a problem for its maker with each passing generation. Toyota plans to completely revamp the Corolla nameplate by culling all its derivatives specific to unique markets in favor of a single global model. The Toyota Corolla will now enter its twelfth generation with the Japanese auto giant simplifying the model’s current lineup. The 11th-generation Corolla is, in fact, three different cars on different platforms. There is the hatchback that is Euro-specific which was previously sold in the States as the Scion iM. The hatchback is built upon a different platform than the one underpinning the sedan of the U.S. and China. The sedans themselves differ from the sedan and wagon sold in the Japanese market.
The popular car will shed all its platforms for the 12th generation and employ one global base for a family of body-styles. The Corolla hatchback is due this year, followed by a sedan and a wagon, all employing the new re-engineered global platform. “The concept is now ‘Global One Corolla’,” Corolla Chief Engineer Yoshiki Konishi said. He also added that Toyota will have to overhaul production lines at all its plants within two years. The projected cost is north of $1 billion for its worldwide operations.
The new Corolla is the third vehicle to benefit from the company’s TNGA-C (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform after the new Prius and the C-HR subcompact crossover. “Previously, people expected different cars in different regions,” Konishi said. “But recently, regional demand and needs have been converging and getting closer.” The use of global architecture for new models has been an increasingly popular trend among automakers recently.
Moving to the TNGA platform for the new Corolla is supposed to save costs while offering improved performance through clever engineering and higher specifications. Shifting the entire Corolla family to a single platform won’t save much money initially, but will pay dividends in the long run for the Japanese automaker. Toyota currently sells 1.3 million Corollas in a year, with 80% of these going to the States and China.