Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl wants the C-HR "to show a different face" for a brand that is not known for its risk-taking designs. The compact SUV is also key to the company's goal of boosting hybrid sales to half of its total European volume by 2020. Van Zyl explained why in a recent interview with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs.
What are your aspirations for the C-HR in Europe?
We are quite bullish. We think the driving dynamics are very good. The styling is strong – some may even say it is polarizing – but that is what we wanted to do. We wanted to show a different face.
How many C-HRs do you expect to sell in Europe?
Between 50,000 and 100,000.
What percentage of C-HR sales will be the hybrid variant?
We think 70 percent for Europe. Auris hybrid sales are already about 60 percent in western Europe.
Toyota wants hybrids to account for half of its European sales by 2020. Where are you at now?
Currently we are at 31 percent. As more competitors enter with hybrids, that will help to spread the knowledge and understanding of the technology.