In the latter half of 2019, the newest version of the Toyota Yaris made its debut. The new hatchback dubbed the global version was meant for markets such as the US, Europe, and Japan. It is important to note that the Yaris takes two forms, the first is for the global market and the second is for the “emerging market”. The latter of which is the one currently available in the Philippines.
With that said, the appearance of the Global model in the ASEAN region could indicate that Toyota wants to streamline its Yaris range by just selling one model instead of two in the area. The decision makes sense as developing two different models is a costly endeavor.
The Japanese hatchback was seen undergoing road testing on one of the roads in Thailand. With it comes a special TC plate which indicates that the vehicle is a test car. While Toyota Thailand has yet to release any information about the test vehicle its presence will likely lead to two scenarios. The first is that the vehicle is really going through testing for the Thailand market, while the second is that the hatchback is being further tested for harsher roads and hotter climates. With that being said, the Global model being launched in the Land of Smiles, and subsequently in the Philippines is still a likely scenario. A slightly larger version could be being developed for the ASEAN market that will utilize the same TNGA underpinnings of the global model. It would also pave the way for the next-generation Toyota Vios at the same time.
While no official information has been provided, for now, it will be a waiting game to see what Toyota has in mind with the global Yaris in Thailand. If it does launch in the country then it could effectively pave the way for a GR Yaris to enter the region along with other GR models that the Japanese brand currently has on sale in other markets.