The Toyota lineup is aging very fast against the competition. The Corolla hasn’t had a full model change since 2006, same with the Camry and Rav4. Toyota has delayed their updates in the face of the financial crisis and to better time a release as the global economy recovers, but their attrition to their marketshare is getting fairly dramatic. So the new Vitz seems to be the harbinger for the succession of Toyota updates. One thing that Toyota that really gotten right with this car is that its globalized the manufacturing since it’ll be built in Japan, France, Thailand, Indonesia, China, and Taiwan. So this car should be able to be priced competitively in a lot more markets. But the question isn’t how this car stacks up against its current competitor but rather will it be a competitive platform for the next 5 years. For Toyota they really need to hit a home run with the Corolla.
An example from my business career: We sold our company in 1998 to an American company when our then-partner wanted to sell. We got shares in the company that purchased us. A few months later, that company, in which we were the largest individual shareholder, announced a major accounting fraud and the shares dropped by approximately 80 per cent. Worse than that, the Russian debt crisis hit and Russia was our largest business. It seemed like a really bad day, a terrible thunderstorm. Nevertheless, these events ultimately led to our repurchase of the company at a very reasonable price, with new partners. Those thunderstorms were really rays of light guiding us to a bright future.