Toyota Is Selling Fewer C-HRs In The US Than Originally Expected

Toyota’s high hopes for the CH-R in the US market have not been met yet, as the sub-compact SUV has failed so far to meet the company’s expectations there.

Unlike regions like Europe and Japan, where the Toyota C-HR proved to be a major success, sales in the US have fallen short of expectations.

Toyota expected to sell 5,000 C-HRs per month quickly after its launch last spring, but this hasn’t happened yet. Its best month so far was this February, with 4,420 cars sold, thanks to better supply from the factory and new financial incentives. Still though, the Toyota C-HR sits seventh so far this year in its segment, behind the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

“We’re fine with where the C-HR is. We’re pretty pleased,” Bill Fay, senior VP of automotive operations for Toyota Motor North America told Automotive News. Fay added that the C-HR is still considered a brand new model that’s been out for less than a year. “We had to build up some awareness and purchase intention for a new model.”

Auto analysts however believe that there are some other reasons for the C-HR’s failure to attract the “right” amount of customers. One of them is the fact that the sub-compact SUV was aimed to be part of Scion’s range but Toyota pulled the plug on the brand in 2016.

“It’s a product that was intended for the Scion brand, and that means they made product-planning decisions relative to the kind of content based on the Scion mono-spec approach,” said Stephanie Brinley, a senior analyst at IHS Markit.

Another issue is that prospective buyers of small crossovers in the US prefer all-wheel drive and have some minimal performance requirements. The US-spec Toyota C-HR is available only with front-wheel drive in North America, has no navigation option for the infotainment system, no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and just one powertrain option.

The 144hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit combined with the CVT gearbox isn’t seen as an attractive proposition either. It’s a little disappointing, given that the C-HR rides on Toyota’s new global platform that focuses on great handling and the design is bold. “Looks are in the eye of the beholder,” said Brinley. “Some people like it, and some people won’t. A stronger powertrain could be a helpful thing.”

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  • ediotsavant

    All it needs is an AWD system. It doesn’t matter if it is never used.

    • Bo Hanan

      Too expensive also.

      • I agree. The C-HR’s price of entry is too close with the RAV-4’s. Toyota should launch trim levels priced nearer to $20K while adding more content to the current XLE trim.

    • Obsequious Lickspittle


  • Well, just add an AWD option, navigation and Apple Carplay and Android Auto for the 2019 model year and buyers will come in droves.

    • Leconte Dave

      better engine options, and a better transmission

  • A rare miss for Toyota.

  • Harry_Wild

    In EU and Far East, this model is offer with four trim levels that offer leather seats, nicer interiors, an additional turbo engine and AWD. The U.S. gets only only bottom level trim.

  • Six_Tymes


    • Bash

      Exactly my thought. lol

    • Six Thousand Times

      I can’t agree. Not saying it’s good-looking but for an SUV, it’s ot dreadful.

    • Chad L

      How about the Juke? It’s been selling well.

  • 31/12/2999

    In a world where Android and iOS are in everywhere, I don’t understand why Toyota continues without them.

  • Lasse J. Nordvik

    Awd and more power would be sweet.

  • G82FS

    It was the lack of incentives, now that they have started offering something sales will pick up. I do agree that it needs more power and optional AWD but we all know that is not something Toyota does…

  • Miknik

    In Europe, you can get a Turbo with manual or automatic, a Hybrid, and AWD, plus very well equipped versions versions (plus a bigger, much more integrated looking screen, though still no car play or iOs). I never understood why the US gets none of those upgrades.

    • Harry_Wild

      This was one of the Scion models before Scion went out of business. Most of Scion customers end up being 50 years old and wanted more amenities and usually brought full loaded versions. So Scion management hoping to counter this trend; start offing the lowest trim levels in their models in the hopes of dissuading their core customers not to buy their models. LOL!

  • willhaven

    Best news I’ve heard all day.

  • DMax

    This thing makes Aztec look kind of cute.

  • marioGTI

    Maybe “made in Japan” instead of “made elsewhere” sticker would help?

  • Mynameis Taylor

    because it’s ugly

  • Androuffle

    Design is interesting but :
    – No AWD option
    – No Hybrid option
    – No Manual option
    – No Sunroof / glassroof option
    – Almost the same price as a Rav4

    Why would someone buy this ? Here is Québec, there is TONS of Subaru Crosstreck, Honda HRV, Toyota Prius Hatchback, Toyota Rav4 Hybrid… fix the C-HR with the options above and it will sell like hot cakes ! Moreover, these options are all available in Europe so it’s more a marketing issue than a development issue.

    • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

      move to europe , then you got all of the options

  • Kyle Newberry

    I actually think outside of the trucks this is one of the better looking Toyota production vehicles.

    • Mynameis Taylor

      it looks like something the junior high-school librarian would drive.

      • Nordschleife

        That’s oddly specific. Lol

  • eye.surgeon

    It’s the ridiculously anemic engine that’s the problem. Freeway merging is a life-threatening experience in this slug.

  • songoku64

    Also it has no sunroof

  • ME

    It is made outside of Japan, and they still charge a lot for it, no thanks.

  • Dennis James

    Originally this wasn’t a bad looking car, but somehow it aged very quickly and became as ugly as the last-gen Honda Civic.

  • ramish rambarran

    Actually, the Japanese spec C-HR comes in Hybrid form with the same 1800cc gasoline engine, as well as a 1200cc gasoline turbo.
    We have imported them from Japan. West Indies.

  • SteersUright

    Perhaps because it only looks sporty and cool. Maybe actually have it drive really well and offer an exciting powertrain? You can only try to fool people for so long with the mediocrity that is the Camry, Corolla, Rav4 bones of these other “new” vehicles.

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