Toyota Motor Philippines has just unveiled the all-new Raize, and it’s their first-ever entry into the subcompact SUV segment. Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of Toyota’s launches is its marketing presentation, which is rarely seen in new car launches in the local auto industry. So, do you think that you match Toyota’s criteria for the typical Raize customer?
The primary customer for the Toyota Raize are those looking for an SUV with basic and functional specs. Most will be using this as their daily driven car to work and are aged 35 to 40 years old. Toyota is also primarily targeting married male customers who are young professionals or middle managers.
Additionally, Toyota is also targeting the Raize to those who are looking for an additional household car, either for use during coding days or for out-of-town trips. Young professionals and college students are also Toyota’s secondary target market, and its youthful styling should prove to be attractive to the younger demographic, aged from 23 to 30 years old.
To most of these target customers, the Raize will be their first car. It will also be their own symbol of their rite of passage and an opportunity to symbolize their status and progress. These are mostly Toyota’s words, by the way, not ours.
Toyota Motor Philippines is also considerably late to the party when it comes to affordable subcompact SUVs, or are they? According to Nico Bravante, Vice President for Product Planning, “We’ve seen also a few of our competitors introducing their own version of the subcompact SUV, and with this, and following the change in maybe lifestyle of the younger customers, which is currently untapped by Toyota, I think this is the right moment for us to introduce Raize.”
The entry-level SUV segment where the Raize competes started gradually increasing in 2018, and as of the end of 2021, 49 percent of SUVs sold are in this category. The segment has recently been dominated by the Geely Coolray, and with the introduction of the Raize, which is more affordable than its Chinese rival due to its slightly smaller size, Toyota is hoping to be able to sell 1,000 units per month.
To achieve this, Sherwin Chualim, First Vice President for Vehicle Sales Operations, says “A lot of the market will be coming from younger generations, so we will also be heavy on digital advertising and a lot of dealer efforts to try to promote the Raize at the frontline levels.”
With all of these said, do you think Toyota’s goal of selling 1,000 units of the Raize per month is realistic? Will younger buyers gravitate towards the Raize, or will the Geely Coolray continue to reign its dominance in the segment?