It seems the Toyota Avalon will become the latest sedan to bow out in the face of SUV dominance. Toyota's flagship four-door is dead in the United States after the 2022 model year, ending a long run that began over 25 years ago.
The word apparently came in the form of an official communication between Toyota and its suppliers. Automotive News reports it was actually Toyota's purchasing department that slipped the information, telling suppliers in a letter that Avalon production at the automaker's Georgetown, Kentucky manufacturing plant would end following the 2022 model year.
Toyota confirmed the news to Motor1.com in a statement. Additionally, a Toyota spokesperson confirmed that Avalon production will continue for the Chinese market at the automaker's Tianjin, China manufacturing plant. As such, the big sedan will continue living for at least a little while longer, but only for buyers in China.
Gallery: 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD: Review
The Avalon first appeared in 1994, debuting at the Chicago Auto Show as a 1995 model. The full-size sedan proved popular enough but was never a dominant force in the market, though one could argue it was never meant to be a luxurious Camry alternative despite sharing the Camry's platform. The current-generation Avalon debuted in 2018 as a 2019 model, switching from Toyota's enduring K platform to the TNGA-K architecture. It was offered in a spicier TRD trim for the first time, though horsepower didn't change. Instead, the Avalon TRD adopted aggressive looks with suspension tuning and a throatier exhaust note for a bit more excitement.
However, year-over-year sales figures suggest buyers weren't very interested in the new Avalon, TRD trim or otherwise. 2019 – the first full year for the fifth-generation Avalon and the last normal year for new car sales – logged just 27,767 Avalon purchases in the US. That was a 17.3-percent drop from 2018, and things were predictably worse in 2020 with only 18,421 sales. That was a 33.7-percent drop, but midway through 2021, Toyota reported 10,328 Avalon sales which was an increase of 36.6 percent. Still, compared to Camry's 177,671 sales and the RAV4's 183,360 mid-year 2021 stats, the Avalon is far, far behind.
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It's unclear if Toyota will offer any kind of final-edition sendoff for the Avalon. We also don't know if Toyota plans to replace the Avalon with production of another vehicle at its Kentucky facility. Along with the Avalon, the Georgetown plant builds the Camry and Lexus ES350.