At a meeting in Detroit today, Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division for Toyota Sales U.S.A., gave journalists a primer on some of Toyota's future U.S. plans and a general overview of the automaker's recent issues, including the now infamous floor mat situation.
According to Carter, those plans are set to include 10 new models within the next year, including an all-new Sienna minivan that is scheduled to make its world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show this December. Carter said that the new Sienna will promise an increase in fuel economy, leading us to believe either an optional hybrid and/or a four-cylinder powertrain is in the offing for the long-in-the-tooth people hauler. (NOTE: The present-generation Sienna is pictured)
Carter also reaffirmed Toyota's commitment to the North America-exclusive Scion brand, announcing that the Scion lineup will be treated to a refresh sooner rather than later. The first product to come out of the revamp will be a Scion version of the diminutive iQ city car, which is slated to arrive Stateside with a Scion badge on its nose sometime next year. At this point, it's unclear what engine the iQ, with its unconventional 3+1 seating arrrangement, will arrive with when it hits U.S. shores. Up to a 1.6L engine is reported to fit, though current European versions have 1.0L to 1.4L gasoline and diesel engines installed. Carter was also quizzed about the Toyota FT-86 concept and where it may fit into the brand's U.S. lineup. While he was noncommittal, our own Todd Lassa believes the car would work best here as a Scion.
MT also learned that Toyota is currently planning a production plug-in by 2012 (more than likely a version of its plug-in Prius) and a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle for a debut around 2015. Whether the fuel cell is planned as a volume seller or a limited-production, lease-only vehicle (such as the Honda FCX Clarity) is not yet known.