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Extra make-up for unloved Avalon

Loaded: Toyota's Avalon Sorrento is packed with $4000 worth of extra features for only $500 over the cost of the Conquest, on which it is based.

Toyota adds value to the Avalon to generate greater buyer interest

7 Aug 2001

TOYOTA Australia has released a value-added, limited edition version of the Avalon in a desperate bid to boost sales of the large sedan.

Based on the Conquest variant, the Avalon Sorrento adds $4000 worth of extra kit - including air-conditioning, ABS, cruise control and alloy wheels - for only an additional $500.

Dual airbags, cruise control, trip computer, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking and a four-speaker CD stereo are already standard in the Conquest.

Toyota says it will offer 2000 examples of the Avalon Sorrento, which is priced at $31,990.

The local car-maker has failed to reach the 2000 monthly sales projected for the Avalon at its launch in July last year and has subsequently resorted to generous discounts and incentives in order to shift stock.

The limited edition Sorrento is the latest chapter in the saga.

The Sorrento's introduction may have been partly precipitated by the Avalon's disastrous sales performance in July, during which just 648 vehicles found new owners.

Toyota Australia recently embarked on a new advertising campaign in which Greg Norman is featured as the celebrity spokesperson for the Avalon, but the commercials seem to have had little effect - if the latest sales results are anything to go by.

One of the ads has also raised the ire of Holden - formerly plugged by Norman.

In the ad, a Holden Statesman parked at a golf course suffers a broken windscreen after being struck by an errant tee shot.

The striker of the wayward golf ball, believing the car belonged to Norman, apologises to him, only to be told : "Not my car, mine's the Toyota," by the golfing icon, who points to an Avalon parked adjacently.

Holden has sent a letter to Toyota to register its objection to the commercial and is believed to be considering legal action.

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