Trivia: Why the Toyota Carina A60 failed in Europe

July 14, 2014 in Carina Trivia by banpei

There are a lot of speculations why the third generation Carina (the Toyota Carina A60) failed to sell in large numbers in Europe. One of them is that Datsun (aka Nissan) launched their new Bluebird 910 around the same time and offered a better pricing. This is partly true and this posting is about the other part which can be captured in the scan below:
Toyota Carina TA60 vs Toyota Carina II AT150
I made this scan of a Dutch book about Honda and Toyota from the mid 80s. During this period the Carina II T150 was selling quite well while the Carina A60 already had been phased out.

The photos above are press photos distributed in the 80s by Toyota Netherlands (aka Louwman & Parqui) and you clearly see a difference in marketing: the old is marketed with a conservative mustached salesman-guy and the new with the streamlined (French) glider in the background. I don’t think the annotation of the photos need to be translated as they are similar. 😉
Notice the glider: I will come back to that later…

This is obviously not the only marketing they did, another example is this 1982 ad targeted at Ford Taunus drivers:
Toyota Carina TA60 vs Ford Taunus
Ford had just announced that they would stop building/selling the Ford Taunus: the most popular car for salesmen which happened to be a four door rear wheel drive car with 3 box styling. Guess what Toyota offered with the Carina A60?
What they did not expect was that the buyers of these cars are very conservative and even tough Toyota was already getting a good name for quality and reliability these buyers would still prefer a European car over an Asian car. Of course the Carina A60 could still have caught on if it weren’t for Toyota to stab it once more by releasing the new Toyota Carina II in Europe around mid 1983.

To get back to the glider:
German Toyota Soarer MZ11 and glider
It is striking that I found an almost similar photo between the 1983 Toyota Carina II and this 1982 Toyota Soarer MZ11 (taken from a brochure I found). At first I thought the gliders were the same, but the enlargement of the Soarer photo revealed that the glider in this photo is German and the two in the background of the Carina II are actually French.
In the near future I’ll get back to this specific Soarer brochure and its German background. 😉