Facts About the Ninth Generation
No need to change the Corolla name
The ninth generation Corolla was introduced in 2000 at the end of the 20th century. The general name given to describe the concept of a new 21st century compact car was New Century Value (NCV), and the Corolla (crown of flowers) emblem was changed to one that was stylized for NCV. With this, some suggested that perhaps it would be best to change even the Corolla name. Takeshi Yoshida, the Chief Engineer at the time, languished seriously over the decision. However, from his experience in the development of the local production vehicle Soluna, a strategic vehicle for Asia, he learned to appreciate first-hand that the Corolla was a historical brand with a favorable reputation worldwide. Thus, Yoshida concluded that the "Corolla was a vehicle that had gained a strong reputation worldwide, and its compact class vehicle name had become representative of Japan. Thus, the Corolla name should remain."
World famous Hollywood star in a world famous car
The ninth generation Corolla sedan developed for North America included the sports grade "XRS," equipped with the new sporty 2ZZ-GE engine, a 6-speed manual transmission and flashy aerodynamic parts for greater spice. The person appointed to promote the appeal of the vehicle's driving excitement in advertisements was the famous Hollywood star, Brad Pitt.
Redesigning the Corolla in half the time
In the development of the ninth generation Corolla, the design team listened to ideas from overseas, and design studies were done at overseas offices as well. In the end, determining the design was quite an event. Initially, developments advanced based on the ideas given from design bases in Japan. However, when the in-house screening stage was reached, a certain executive indicated that "the design was no different from the Corollas of the past." The design was thrown out, and the team was instructed to redesign the Corolla within what was now a very strict deadline with almost half of the development period already exhausted. So once again, designers went back to the drawing boards, and new designs were examined by both domestic and overseas offices. The team targeted a universal body design for all markets, and to do so, corrected the design direction to gain support on a worldwide scale. As it turned out, ideas from the European design offices were chosen, and the Corolla took on an overseas design for the first time.