The Toyota Avalon is the latest sedan to fall victim to the SUV frenzy
"Another one bites the dust"
The Toyota Avalon was introduced in 1994, specifically designed to be sold primarily in North America, the Middle East and China, and after 27 honorable years and five generations, Toyota has decided to axe it.
SUVs have been killing sedan and wagons for years and if we're looking for someone to blame, well, we just gotta look in the mirror. The problem is most markets are now SUV-centric and when top-flight auto execs sit down to talk about their quarterly results (or whatever it is they talk about), they look at the numbers and realize that people aren't buying sedans anymore, and so they just get rid of them.
With the Avalon on its way out, Toyota only has two sedans on sale in the U.S. - the Camry and the Corolla - but in a letter sent to suppliers to announce the news, the Japanese manufacturer stated that it "remains committed to the sedan segment" and encourages "customers to stay tuned for future developments."
In the letter, Toyota also made it clear that this won't affect Toyota's Kentucky factory employees because the plant will still be used to build the RAV, the Camry as well as the Avalon's replacement, which at this point is almost certainly going to be yet another SUV.
Both European buyers, historically in love with wagons, and North American customers, traditionally more attached to full-size sedans, are now becoming SUV evangelists and this, incidentally, is actually helping manufacturers because they usually end up developing two or three platforms on which they build a trillion different models.
Volskwagen Group, for example, has launched a total of 20 SUVs based on variants of the same platform (MQB) since 2016. Meanwhile, the Avalon is built using Toyota's TNGA-K (GA-K) platform, the same architecture that the brand also utilizes for 6 more models, all of which are SUVs except for the Camry.
I don't mind SUVs per se but I still prefer sedans. Apart from the tangible advantages - they're usually easier to park, cheaper to buy and run, faster and more fun to drive - I guess I just prefer them. They just look better. And feel better.