When Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) first announced they will be launching the Corolla Cross, it got us thinking that one of Toyota's offerings might be discontinued in the country. That model is the RAV4. With the Corolla Cross now serving as the brand's latest compact crossover that starts at PhP 1,285,000, the RAV4 could be seen as too expensive as its prices begin at PhP 1,710,000. For a few thousand Pesos less, the hybrid version of the Corolla Cross retails at PhP 1,650,000.
But according to TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto, he said that the two crossovers can co-exist in the Philippines. Despite the possibility of the Corolla Cross 'cannibalizing' sales of the RAV4, Okamoto believes that the new models will each serve a distinct clientele.
With the Corolla Cross' more affordable price, it might attract those that wish to upgrade from a sedan. And since the Corolla Cross is a newcomer, it has yet to establish its reputation in the country. Meanwhile, the RAV4 is priced more upmarket and already has an existing reputation in the country. In addition, the RAV4 and Corolla Cross each have their own unique features that make them different from one another.
For the automaker, this does not mean that the RAV4's existence in the country is in peril. In fact, the arrival of the Corolla Cross just means that they are further expanding their crossover offerings and broadening their hybrid lineup. What better way to capitalize that by introducing another compact crossover that is available with a hybrid powertrain and carries the Corolla name?
But as mentioned earlier, the clear advantage of the Corolla Cross is its price. Since it's made in Thailand, it benefits from the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). The RAV4 doesn't benefit from any tax breaks since it's made in Japan. Not even JPEPA can save it because its engine doesn't meet the minimum requirement for it to be covered by the trade agreement.
As TMP looks to sell about 100 units of the Corolla Cross immediately, can the RAV4 really co-exist with a smaller contender?