The Unheralded 8th Gen Toyota Corolla
Like everywhere in the world, Toyota Corolla has been the most successful sedan in Pakistan, from the imported ones in the 70s and 80s to the local assembled one till today.
Each and every generation of Corolla witnessed huge success in our market, however the 8th generation has always been the least talked about model particularly because it was skipped from being introduced in the country by Indus Motor Company (IMC) in the mid 90s and although limited number of units later appeared in form of used JDM imports, the 8th gen Corolla was never so popular among the masses.
It was released in May 1995, hardly two years after the local production of 7th gen (Indus) Corolla commenced in Pakistan. The 8th generation Corolla was developed during a recession crisis, when Japan was facing a sluggish economy, and Toyota had ordered the then Corolla development chief Takayasu Honda to cut costs, hence the eighth generation was developed with carried-over engineering by sharing its platform with its predecessor. As Takayasu Honda puts it:
“We were forced to be extremely conscious of lowering the cost-price in order to square our accounts from the bubble era. I was afraid that we would be so focused on getting the cost-price down that we might end up shaving off the essentials and thereby, weakening the product”.
The body dimensions were virtually unchanged, and many of the components were the same as those of its predecessor’s, and yet the new model managed to reduce the vehicle weight by up to 60 kg. This was achieved by extensive yet strategic use of high-strength steel. Careful consideration was also given to reducing the total cost of ownership – such as keeping the purchase price, general maintenance and crash repair costs as keen as possible – while increasing the vehicle’s end-of-life recyclability