Confirmed: Toyota Venza Ending Production Later in 2015
Changing Customer Preferences, Competition Factored Into Decision
The Toyota Venza, the brand’s fashion-forward two-row crossover, will be quietly winding down production later this year for the U.S. market, although export models will continue to be built at Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky, plant through 2017. In an email sent to TEN’s sister publication, Automobile, Toyota spokesperson Rick Bourgoise said, “Despite our best efforts, careful consideration and analysis, it was determined that it was in our best interest to wind down production as resources would be strained. Though ceasing Venza production was a difficult decision, Toyota remains committed to significant growth in both the midsize SUV and small SUV segments.”
Bourgoise claims that the discontinuation of the Venza will not affect employment at the Georgetown plant, which also produces the Avalon and Camry and will start producing the Lexus ES later this year. The addition of the ES reportedly represents a $360 million investment and will add 750 new jobs to the Georgetown workforce, bringing the total to 7,300.
The 800-pound gorilla in the midsize two-row crossover segment is the Ford Edge, which outsells nearly all of its competitors by at least two to one. Venza sales totaled 29,991 in 2014, compared to 47,301 for the Nissan Murano and 108,864 for the Ford Edge.