Toyota sales in Canada are better poised than those in the United States to benefit from the return of the Venza mid-size, two-row SUV even though the move is being driven by a growing demand for SUVs south of the border, says Stephen Beatty, Toyota Canada vice-president and corporate secretary.
The second-generation, 2021 Toyota Venza, launched during an online reveal last week, will come only with a conventional hybrid powertrain. Beatty said that first-generation Venza sales in Canada already outperformed those of the U.S., and a strong appetite for hybrid powertrains here has the brand anticipating greater success with its upcoming return.
“The hottest product in our lineup [is] the RAV4 Hybrid,” Beatty said. “We are really delighted to bring back Venza, which always outperformed in Canada versus the United States, into Canada where our hybrid sales are higher than they are in the United States.”
Through its first generation, the Venza was on sale in Canada from model years 2009 to 2017, including an additional year of sales at the end of Venza’s run after the U.S. discontinued it for the 2015 model year. During that period, Canada sold a total of 79,853 units versus the 244,520 units sold in the U.S. This equates to nearly one-third of the volume in a market one-tenth of the size.
Despite Canada’s strong sales, the first-generation Venza was discontinued because mid-size sedans were stronger in the U.S. market at the time. Beatty said that while the timing is ideal for Venza’s return in both markets, its past performance in Canada and this market’s higher Toyota hybrid take rate means that Venza will likely be a stronger performer north of the border.
“In the time that I’ve been with the company, there have really only been three vehicles that have outperformed in Canada versus the U.S.,” Beatty said. “Yaris was one of them, but that’s an unusual circumstance, and the subcompact marketplace is gone for everybody. But the other two were Venza and Matrix.
“Venza and Matrix went away because the U.S. marketplace didn't perform the same way. But at the time Venza went away, Camry was the number one selling Toyota in the United States and Corolla was our number one seller here. Today, in both countries, it’s RAV4. So, it tells you that the market’s moving to a space where I think Venza can shine.”