Toyota will debut next gen Avalon

DETROIT — Toyota will introduce a revamped Avalon full-size car at the Detroit auto show in January at a time when sales of big cars are falling as U.S. buyers continue their shift toward SUVs.

The Michigan-designed Avalon will arrive in showrooms in the spring. Executive Vice President Bob Carter says that despite falling sales, there is still a significant number of people who want large premium cars. He says sales in the mainstream big-car segment have fallen because automakers haven’t introduced much new in recent years.

“It’s a healthy segment,” Carter said. “It’s been quite some time since there’s really been any innovative product in there.”

He wouldn’t give further details about the car, saying they would be released at the North American International Auto Show in January.

Like many sedans, the big Avalon is facing tough times.

Avalon sales are off almost 30 percent through November, and sales of the top five large mainstream cars are down 11 percent to just over 276,000, according to Autodata Corp.

Of the top five, only the Nissan Maxima is reporting a sales increase at 12.5 percent.

The Avalon will be built on Toyota’s new global underpinnings that also produced the new Camry.