Early 2000s WiLL Project for Youth (Part II)

The WiLL project was a short-term collaboration Marketing activities By several Japanese brands aimed at gaining the interest and money of young buyers. Using emotional engineering, seven companies launched new products in the early 2000s wearing the WiLL subbrand. Included in the myriad of products were three different subcompact Toyotas.

And this is the first one, the WiLL Vi.

Toyota began production of the new Vi in January 2000, just months after the WiLL brand went Nissan pike The car, Toyota’s WiLL Vi, was a very retro, very cute and more expensive variant of a typical hatchback. Without the Toyota badge at all, Vi pulled elements from 50’s cars such as the Ford Anglia and Citroen 2CV. It was designed by a new division within Toyota, the Virtual Venture Company.

Virtual Venture Company was founded in August 1997 with specific goals. Targeting young customers (under 30) with 21st century products. Group of 40 people young Toyota employees form a project team to assess the needs of young customers.The important thing is that this highly organized effort works. Outside Traditional Toyota workflow. Toyota believed that it would need to make significant internal changes to its decision-making structure in order to remain competitive. According to Toyota, with the introduction of VVC, the company “wants to maintain its position as an active company for the next century.”

And what was more active than the WiLL Vi design? The new body rides on top of the existing Toyota Vitz platform (Echo to you), which is the new subcompact itself launched in the 1999 model. Unlike the Vitz, which offered a variety of engines and manual or automatic transmissions, the Vi is a drivetrain sense. Like the pike car a few years ago, all Vis used automatic transmissions (4 speeds). There was a single engine: 1.3 liter in-line 4-cylinder from the middle of the Vitz range. By the way, a good engine has won an award.

Although the two cars shared the same wheelbase, the WiLL Vi was much larger outside the Vitz. The overall length of the Vi was 148 inches and the Vitz was 142.3 inches. If you’ve been to Japan, you know that small cars are popular. The 6 inch length makes a difference in parking. Unlike the Vitz, the Vitz was painted in pastel colors only and had a sand dollar motif on the mandatory wheel cover. Other necessary motifs … include bread. The exterior and interior panel details had indentations and color themes inspired by some classic French cuisine, baguettes.

The automatic transmission allows for the installation of retro-friendly bench seats. Customers who feel particularly blushing when they are young can opt for a canvas sliding roof that resembles an old French car. Maybe I ate baguettes there and I’m really leaning towards the whole image of “I’m a retro Frenchman”.

VVC thought that WiLL Vi was a bit too difficult to overshoot with its premier product. It was also expensive: about $ 3,000 more than the equivalent Vitz, which is not too embarrassing to drive the town. Vi sales were very poor and were canceled almost immediately. Its production took place from January 2000 to December 2001. Vi was slightly replaced by something other than France.

As we’ll see in more detail in Part III, you can see the pink glorious WiLL Vi. here.. It was sold back in April for $ 2,860. For real not bad.

[Images: Toyota]

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Early 2000s WiLL Project for Youth (Part II)

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