New year launch lined up for new Toyota Yaris

Toyota is to call its new European small car the Yaris and is expected to use another 32-and-a-half hour new year broadcast sponsorship deal with ITV to launch it in the UK next year.

The new model, whose name was revealed at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, is a small three- or five-door hatchback and will replace the Starlet.

Mike Moran, marketing director for Toyota (GB), says: “We sell about 10,000 Starlets a year in the UK and will be looking to sell twice, or possibly three times, the number of Yaris models.”

Toyota is almost certain to use its ITV sponsorship deal as part of the marketing programme for the UK Yaris launch. This deal was part of an 18m package brokered last year through Carlton, which was put together in time for the launch of the Avensis, a family saloon (MW December 11 1997).

The deal gives Toyota the opportunity to run idents and break bumpers before, during and after almost every ITV programme from the morning of New Year’s Eve to midnight on New Year’s Day until the year 2001/2.

Ford has revealed the replacement model for the Escort at the Geneva Motor Show; it will be known as Focus. The new car will be made in Saarlouis, Germany, and will go on sale in the UK in the autumn. Production of the old model Escort will continue at Halewood on Merseyside until 2000.

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