TEXT OF STORY
Bill Radke: Now, having recently bought a minivan, believe me, I know there is nothing cool about them. But Marketplace’s Alisa Roth tells us Toyota is betting on a new, possibly hipper version of its minivan: the Sienna.
Alisa Roth: You know you’re in trouble when even the PR people put it this bluntly:
David Lee: Minivans currently I think have a bit of a perception of, you know, non-stylishness and, or perhaps even downright undesirability.
David Lee is a spokesman for Toyota USA. Car buyers agree with him. Last year, minivans lost even more market share than other cars.
I talked to Jeff Schuster from JD Powers while he was at the Detroit auto show. He says there will always be some market for minivans.
Jeff Schuster: The new Sienna is a very competitive vehicle now in the segment.
Toyota’s David Lee says the company’s doing its best to attract buyers with some bold new designs.
Lee: The styling is a lot more sporty looking I guess if you could say, it’s got a lot of character lines on the side, the roof angles have been changed to make it appear more sporty.
Last fall, Toyota’s CEO said he wanted to build exciting cars. The Sienna may not be what he meant, but Toyota is offering a sport model of the minivan, with lower suspension and electric power-steering.
I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.