Section 6. Strengthening Development and Sales Efforts in the Japanese Market
Item 3. Reassessing Product Strategy
Regaining ground in the minivan market
In the Japanese minivan market where it had been struggling, Toyota achieved a huge hit with the completely redesigned Estima launched in January 2000, marking the first complete redesign of the Estima since its debut in 1990. The new Estima's advanced design was extremely well received and its new sports grade Aeras became very popular. In 2001, Toyota added the industry's first hybrid minivan, forming the so-called "Big Two Era" in the Japanese minivan market along with Honda Motor's Odyssey. In the highest-class minivan market, Toyota launched the Alphard in May 2002, successfully preventing Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.'s Elgrand from dominating this market segment.