Recently, Toyota unveiled its ultra-luxury, Century SUV to the world. Following its launch, the brand had shared plans to take the flagship luxury brand global. Now according to a recent development, the Century SUV is all set to make its debut in key markets including North America starting in 2024. The new SUV will follow in the footsteps of the Crown sedan, which was first limited to the Japanese domestic market before going global.
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Toyota Century Goes Global
Toyota currently has one luxury brand, Lexus, which competes with the likes of Mercedes Benz and BMW in the global market. However, the company is set to launch a new flagship luxury brand called Century, which will directly compete with Rolls Royce and Bentley. The upcoming Century models will showcase exceptional craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail, and unbeatable comfort in the rear.
Toyota has recently filed trademark applications for the Century name in various international markets, indicating its plan to expand globally. Although the Century cars are usually right-hand-drive, the company has started testing specific left-hand-drive models of the Century SUV in North America and China. Despite the global expansion, Toyota will continue manufacturing its ultra-luxury vehicles at its plant in Japan.
Toyota’s move the take the Century brand global is laudable. it comes with its challenges. However, this move to take the Century brand global may not be without its challenges. The cultural significance of the models in Japan might not align with the perceived brand image in North American markets, which could impact sales. Moreover, the high price tag and the limited brand appeal may also steer customers towards other ultra-luxury brands, potentially hindering sales and growth.
We believe, the Century SUV could fetch good response from key markets like China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, as the cultural heritage and exclusivity of the new model could resonate well with these buyers.
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Toyota Century SUV: The Product
Based on the GA-K platform, the Century luxury SUV shares its underpinning with the Toyota Grand Highlander and Lexus TX SUVs sold in the North American market. A large SUV in every sense, the new model measures 5.2-metres in length, 2.0-metres in width and 1.8-metres in height. Powering the Toyota Century ultra-luxury SUV is a 3.5-litre V6 hybrid that produces 406 bhp mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
In overall dimension, the Century SUV is just marginally smaller than the Rolls Royce Cullinan but offers identical levels of luxury and plushness on the inside. Key highlights include individual rear reclining seats with massagers, four-zone climate control, MPV like sliding rear doors and a special ‘Rear Comfort’ driving mode that ensures smooth acceleration and braking for the best chauffeur-driven experience.
While a specific date for the launch is not set, we expect the new model to arrive in showrooms before the end of 2024.
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