It’s not so surprised. This compact model is not suitable in the US market. Americans love bigger cars, but the sales shows it’s welcomed in Asia market. Mazda 2 is still available in Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand.
The Yaris just can’t catch a break. Last year it was reported that the hatchback version would be discontinued for the U.S. market. That proved kind of true, as the Toyota-designed Yaris was axed but replaced by a rebadged Mazda2 hatch. But now the entire subcompact car line, which launched stateside in 2006, is being discontinued.
“The Yaris sedan and Yaris hatchback will not be available for model-year 2021,” a Toyota spokesperson confirmed in an emailed statement. “Model-year 2020 will be the last year for Yaris. June 2020 will be the last month of production for the Yaris sedan and Yaris hatchback for the U.S. They will continue to be on sale through the summer and into the fall depending on sell down.”
One model year is an awfully short run for a “new” vehicle like the 2020 Yaris hatchback, but we don’t imagine Toyota spent too much money on the changeover given its near-identical interior and exterior to the Mazda2. Even the—ahem—unique front end already existed and was cribbed from the Mazda-based Yaris sedan (formerly known as the Scion iA and Yaris iA).
That half-hearted effort is reflective of the subcompact’s sales, which have been trending downward for the past few years. Through the first quarter of 2020, Yaris sales were down 69.4 percent from the same period a year prior. The automaker has also spent very little on marketing lately for its smallest offering.
Remember when the second-gen Yaris launched back in 2012? Toyota produced a hilarious series of ads around the surprisingly honest tagline “It’s a car. “ The brand acknowledged the model’s basic-transportation nature and owned it in an unconventional way, and it worked at the time because that’s exactly what many drivers were looking for. But when you’re selling less than 22,000 cars per year—fewer than the number of Corollas Toyota moves in an average month—we suppose humorous, self-aware ad campaigns aren’t worth the investment.
Though the Toyota Yaris name departs from the U.S. lineup, the global Yaris will carry on in other markets. There’s also a Yaris-based crossover planned for Europe, but it’s unknown if that car might come here to fill Toyota’s subcompact gap. The one we’re most excited about is the Toyota GR Yaris, a special edition hot hatch with 268 hp on tap from a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder and all-wheel drive with variable torque splitting capability. It’s a homologation special built so Toyota can go rally racing, but that doesn’t make us want it any less. How about sending a few our way as a consolation prize, Toyota?