Toyota Matrix Announcement Coming, Likely Axed in US


Sorry Matrix fans, it doesn’t sound like Toyota’s compact hatchback is going to be around much longer.

Past reports suggest the Matrix is headed out to pasture and an internal source familiar with the matter told AutoGuide today that there will be an official announcement coming in five weeks about the car’s future in North America.

This is a natural time for the Matrix to make its exit. It’s based on the Corolla, which is due for a complete redesign previewed by the Furia concept during this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Given the poor overall demand for the hatchback, it would seem unlikely for Toyota to create a new version.

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Plans still aren’t official, but that announcement will probably include the Matrix exiting the U.S. market. The same source suggested that demand in Canada could be strong enough to keep it in Canadian dealer showrooms.

Sales have been limping along in the U.S. In fact, Toyota doesn’t even include it as a separate vehicle in charts detailing individual vehicle unit sales.

Toyota first sold the Matrix during the 2003 model year and at the time it was also offered through GM as the Pontiac Vibe, although that car died along with General Motors’ subsidiary.

Last year, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s American Automobile Labeling Act report showed that the Matrix had the highest percentage of American parts: 95 percent. That figure dropped to 65 percent this year.