The Toyota Wigo sold close to 12,000 units in the Philippines in 2020. Coming in as the brand’s 3rd best-selling model, there shouldn’t be a “threat” that it’ll stop being sold here, right? Here’s where this news bit comes in: Toyota is planning to make (yet) another sub-compact vehicle, this time based on the Yaris using the GA-B platform of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).
Names to keep in mind as you read on: Wigo, and Yaris.
Now, what does have to do with the Wigo? Currently, and in Europe, Toyota’s smallest model is the Aygo. While the brand continues to develop the Aygo, the aforementioned new model will inevitably be made and will eventually supplant it as the entry-model into Toyota ownership. Special emphasis on “supplant”, or “replace” might be a friendlier term.
Going back to the Philippines, both the Yaris and Yaris Cross are (or will be, in the case of the Cross) available in the country. Much to its credit, the Yaris badge has built somewhat of a following in the PH – probably just as much as the Wigo – and it’s no doubt that it will be able to sell itself. While sales alone won’t dictate the fate of a vehicle model being sold or not, there is also the bigger vision of Toyota as a brand. Are you still with us here? Okay, good.
The conception of this new GA-B vehicle is seen as a move towards newer technologies that the current Wigo is not based on. Ride, handling, and styling are those that benefit most from TNGA, so it’s but natural for any carmaker to create new vehicles that will present a better selling proposition in these three facets. Using GA-B, the new sub-compact will be able to provide more space, better comfort, higher rigidity and safety, and ultimately lower weight and production costs.
That’s not to say the Wigo is a bad car, alright? Case in point: in its current iteration, and with updated ASEAN NCAP safety standards, the Wigo can easily score four stars out of five. Stellar. But with the use of TNGA, it can be improved. With more and more Filipinos resorting to getting smaller vehicles whether as their first or even as small family cars, riding on the GA-B platform can, as we mentioned above, afford them more space and comfort, for possibly a lower if not the same price as Wigo has now. Also, the new model will reportedly have a small internal combustion engine, so we can already throw arguments about fuel economy and such out the window. It is still bound to be an econo-car.
So what’s the whole point of this conversation? On paper, news of an entirely new model sounds real good. Having it based on the Yaris, which is a proper badge of its own, makes it even better. But how well will it sell, and does the PH have enough reasons to bring it in and replaced the much-loved Wigo? Manufacturers do listen to their clients, and if Toyota positions this new model properly, perhaps the clamor may be enough to have it imported. Details may be limited at best now, but there aren’t too many cons to this move. If it means something a lot better, then “out with the old and in with the new” should never be a bad thing, right?