Should Toyota Kill the Matrix?

The Toyota Matrix debuted with the last generation Corolla in 2002. Since then a new Matrix has been released, but sales have continued to decline. Because of this it looks like Toyota may not bring the Matrix back when the next Corolla debuts in 2013.

When questioned about a new Matrix, Toyota’s Bob Carter told Ward’s, “There’s no change right now on the car, (but) we haven’t made the decision yet.”

The Matrix had its best year in 2002 with sales of 66,836 units, but since then sales have continued to sink. Last year Toyota only sold 14,492 Matrix hatchbacks, which was down from 26,121 in 2009 and 49,567 in 2008.

Critics would be quick to point out that hatchbacks don’t generally sell that well in the U.S., but a number of C-segment models are offered in hatchback and wagon variants. The Ford Focus and Mazda3 quickly come to mind. According to Ford, the hatchback version of the recently launched 2012 Focus accounts for 43 percent of the Focus sales.

Matrix sales through April are down 37.3 percent compared to a year ago. One issue Toyota is trying to figure out is the fact that the Matrix sells well in Canada. “It’s huge in Canada,” Carter says.

What do you think? Should Toyota kill the Matrix? Or maybe Toyota should make a true Mazda3 competitor? The current Matrix is pretty boring to drive compared to the Mazda3 and new Ford Focus.

Full Story: Ward’s Auto