It seems that Toyota is gearingup to take the same strategy that a few different cell phone makers have jumped into. In addition to pushing the technological and luxury envelope with their Lexus brand, Toyota is said to also be working on an “ultra-low-cost” car, largely for emerging markets. I thought the Yaris was pretty cheap as is, but they’re going to be cutting costs even further in order to make a bigger splash in countries where there is a greater demand for economical vehicles. For example, the Renault Logan sells in China and Russia for just $6,200.
Toyota is prepared to take a rather “radical” approach to this new el cheapo car, utilizing ultra-low-cost materials and “even developing new materials if necessary,” according to ToMoCo president Katsuaki Watanabe. If you thought your econobox felt cheap and plasticky now, imagine what the sub-$7000 Toyota will be like. They’re even considering taking the yet unnamed ultra-low-cost car beyond emerging markets.