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Toyota Australia won’t step on Lexus’ toes with Crowns

Like Netflix, Toyota now has many series of the Crown, and for the first time in many years it’s serious about taking the nameplate global… but Australia isn’t included.

“When you look at the relationship between Toyota and Lexus and where that car would sit, it probably doesn’t fit into the Toyota portfolio for the Australian market,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice president of sales and marketing when asked whether the new, extended Crown family could come to Australia.

“It all gets down to your product plan, your product portfolio, where it would position, where it would sit.

“We obviously have a Toyota brand, we have a Lexus luxury brand, Crown kind of just doesn’t work in the Toyota line-up for the Australian market.”

Toyota plans for Crown models to be sold in 40 countries and regions, with an expected annual sales volume of around 200,000 units.

Since 2007, the Crown has been exclusively offered as a sedan, and it has always been rear-wheel drive (albeit for many years with the option of all-wheel drive), dating back to the first generation that debuted in 1955.

There’s still a rear/all-wheel drive sedan with traditional styling in the Crown Sedan, which shares its TNGA-L underpinnings with the hydrogen fuel-cell Mirai. However, it will offer the option of a hydrogen powertrain like its platform-mate.

The other Crowns differ in using the TNGA-K underpinnings shared with front/all-wheel drive models like the Kluger.

The Crown Crossover is a high-riding sedan, blurring the lines between sedan and SUV; the Crown Sport is a curvaceous, hatchback-esque crossover; and the Crown Estate (aka Crown Signia) blurs the lines between a wagon and a more traditional crossover.

Toyota has teased an electric version of the Crown Sport and indicated a plug-in hybrid version is coming, but all Crowns come standard with hybrid power and all-wheel drive.

The Crown Crossover has already been introduced in North America, where it replaced the Avalon and is simply called ‘Crown’, while the Crown Estate is being introduced there as the Crown Signia, indirectly replacing the Venza (aka Harrier) that slotted between the RAV4 and Highlander (aka Kluger).

Toyota last offered the Crown nameplate in Australia in 1988, and it slotted above the Cressida as an even plusher, more conservative flagship sedan.

The company had offered the Crown in markets like the US and Korea (until 1972) and the UK (until 1983), but its global presence receded after that.

It was offered in markets like the Middle East and Southeast Asia for many years, however, and was manufactured in China for three generations by the Tiangin FAW Toyota Motor joint venture before this ended in 2020.

China has its own Crown models now: up-spec versions of the Kluger and Vellfire called, quite simply, Crown Kluger and Crown Vellfire. The Crown Crossover and Crown Sedan are also being imported to China, however.

MORE: 2024 Toyota Crown Sedan breaks from tradition in one key way
MORE: Toyota Crown Sport wants to be the king of hatchbacks
MORE: Toyota reveals Crown Signia SUV
MORE: 2023 Toyota Crown flagships revealed, not for Australia


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