|Chart shows sales of the Toyota Yaris in the United States only.|
I typically post Toyota Yaris sales results each month on Yarisworld.com. People were wondering why the December 2014 sales were up 167% vs. December 2013, which made me think sales must've been pretty low in December, '13. Well, sure enough, that was the case.
This made me wonder how the car has sold since its debut in the U.S. as a 2007 model. Well, here's your answer.
Yaris sales peaked in 2008, when Toyota moved 102,328 models. Its low point was 2014, where just 13,274 were sold. That means there's been an 87% drop in Yaris sales over the past seven years. It should be noted that 2012 was the last year of the Yaris sedan in the U.S.
As you know, Toyota just refreshed its subcompact for the 2015 model year. However, with such a sharp decline, it makes you wonder if Toyota will continue to sell its little hatchback on the U.S. market into the future. One could argue that in order to meet CAFE standards, the Yaris is needed. However, keep in mind that the Corolla gets nearly the same fuel economy and that the Prius family of vehicles gets pretty good numbers. Is there really a need for the Yaris?
Perhaps. Since it's the least expensive Toyota, it does serve as a gateway into the brand. However, it is certainly a dated choice compared to many of its competitors. Afterall, the 106 hp 1NZ-FE engine first appeared 15 years ago in the 2000 Toyota Echo. Compare that to Honda's 2015 Fit, which now makes 130 hp from the same 1.5-liters, or Chevrolet's Sonic 1.4-liter turbo four, which is making 138 hp.
Toyota has always had a subcompact car in its lineup, so it's doubtful the Yaris is going to go away. But with low fuel prices, a dated engine/transmission, and slow sales, perhaps the Yaris is simply coasting until a reported Mazda2-based subcompact shakes things up in the coming years.
And in case you were wondering, I own a 2007 Toyota Yaris liftback that I enjoy very much.