Automotive

Published on December 2nd, 2020 | by Joshua Chin

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Toyota Culls Several Models From Its Japanese Lineup

Two JDM Toyota models are to be dropped by the end of this year, with three more by March 2021. 

Toyota has recently, and very quietly, announced that it is to axe several models from its Japanese lineup. It is reported too that these models facing the chopping block will also not have any replacements in the immediate future. 

The first two models to be dropped from the Japanese automaker’s lineup are the Toyota Porte/Spade twins. Called the Porte when bought from a Toyota or Toyopet dealerships, and the Spade when purchased from a Netz or Corolla store in Japan, this compact minivan with an asymmetrical passenger sliding door is set to end production in early December 2020. 

Sold also in Macau and Hong Kong as the Spade, the reason for the end of production of this quirky compact minivan doesn’t actually have all to do with its low demand. Instead, the main reason as why the Porte/Spade twins are to be axed is actually because the Higashi Fuji assembly plant located at the base of Mount Fuji where these minivans are being made is in the process of being demolished for Toyota’s fanciful city of the future — Woven City. 

On the other hand, the three other models that are to be discontinued by Toyota is probably mainly because of low demand. These three other models are Toyota Prius Alpha and the Toyota Premio/Allion twins, all three of which is set to go out of production in March 2021. 

To those unfamiliar, the Toyota Prius Alpha is essentially an MPV version of the Prius sedan. Available in both five and seven seater configuration, this hybrid compact MPV was at a reasonably strong seller for Toyota when it was launched in 2011. In fact, this particular model actually went on sale in many regions worldwide, including in our neighbour across the causeway. 

Sadly however, while an all-new Prius sedan came in 2015, its MPV counterpart didn’t receive the same update. Sales of the ageing Prius Alpha therefore dwindled worldwide. Eventually leading to it only currently soldiering on in Japan, and interestingly enough Taiwan. This however will also soon come to an end come March 2021. 

As for the Toyota Allion/Premio twins, the story of these Toyota compact sedans is much the same as the Prius Alpha. This second generation model still on sale today has been soldiering on for 13 long years, with only two visual facelifts done during that time. So it is no surprise that the executioner’s axe is to fall on these two models at the same time as the long-running Prius Alpha. 

Only sold in Japan, the Premio/Allion twins is the successor to the legendary Toyota Corona/Carina nameplate respectively. Essentially a rebadged Toyota Avensis in a more traditional sedan body style, the Allion was a Toyota store exclusive, while the Allion exclusive to the Toyopet store.

Despite both Allion and Premio models soon to be discontinued in Japan however, the Allion name will actually live on in China as a stretched Toyota Corolla. Manufactured by FAW Toyota, this new Allion model is positioned between the standard Corolla and the larger Camry in China’s A+ class sedan segment. A fitting continuation to the Allion name then, as the original JDM Allion was actually meant to be the slightly smaller, but equally luxurious alternative to the Japanese Camry. 

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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