Toyota registers the Harrier trademark in the U.S. But why?

Joaquin Ruhi

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My most recent search for new U.S. trademarks registered by Toyota turned up something totally unexpected: Harrier, which was filed on 2 August 2018 under Serial Number 88062919.

Most of you probably knew that Toyota Harrier was originally the nameplate used by the 1st and 2nd-gen Lexus RX in Japan before the advent of the Lexus dealer network there starting in mid-2005. It wouldn't be until late 2008, however, that Japan would see the Lexus RX badge with the introduction of the 3rd-gen model. Curiously, though, the Harrier badge didn't meet the demise that Celsior, Soarer, Aristo and Altezza did in their Toyota-to-Lexus transition. Instead, the Harrier lived on, and even saw a primarily JDM-only 3rd-gen version first unveiled on December 2013, now on the smaller New MC platform as a fraternal triplet to Toyota RAV4 and Lexus NX.

When that Harrier came out, many pundits erroneously believed we were looking at a preview of the 4th-gen Lexus RX, which was far from the truth. I felt compelled to write not one but two separate Kaizen Factor stories (on July 2013 and January 2015) clarifying this.

This latest twist in the Harrier saga compels me to write yet another article, this one recapping the previous two and speculating on what role a new 4th-gen Toyota Harrier would play here in North America:

http://kaizen-factor.com/toyota-registers-the-harrier-trademark-in-the-u-s-but-why/
 

Gecko

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"Harrier" would be a strange name choice for USA. "Venza" makes a lot more sense and already has some brand awareness.
 

bogglo

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I love that SUV. if it replaces the Venza I think it will give RAV 4 a run for its money even the NX need to watch out.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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Just a reminder, Toyota often files all sorts of strange trademarks in North America that are never used. This could be simply part of Toyota's standard practice of covering all their bases or throwing competitors off from future product.
Agreed, and I implicitly mention this in my Kaizen Factor article, particularly in the beginning of the second paragraph.

Toyota probably registered it because TATA and Land Rover started using "Harrier" Name in India.
That's right! I'd read about that but totally forgot when I wrote my article. So maybe (even probably) it's nothing more than a blocking move just in case TATA ever decides to sell their Harrier in North America. I wonder if they're doing the same in other regions such as Europe and Australia?
 

Carmaker1

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Is it possible that a new Harrier based on TNGA-K will be one of the new crossovers for the Toyota brand? If I recall, between the FT-4X, a CUV below the next Highlander, and then another, that's how many crossovers are in planning. Is that CUV below the 2020 Highlander, a 2021 MY Harrier? Weird name for Americans, but Toyota did file for trademark of that nameplate in the USPTO recently on August 2, 2018. As well as Corolla Cross.

The Harrier was based on the Lexus RX 300 originally in 1997 (based on VCV20 ES 300), moving to K platform in 2003, going separate ways in late 2008, and then a redesign being developed from 2009 to 2013, on the New MC architecture.

It somewhat replaced the RAV4 in JDM. Since the RAV4 is now TNGA-K, does this mean it will sit above it (while utilizing the same architecture) as a Ford Edge, Honda Passport, Hyundai Sante Fe, and Nissan Murano competitor and Venza replacement?

The Harrier was introduced in 2013, refreshed in mid-2017 and on schedule for a redesign in 2020. Timing of trademark makes sense, in being 2 years ahead of introduction.

MY 2014 Harrier introduced in December 2013 - 2017 (Ignore RX Comparison)
13-07-26-lexus-rx-toyota-harrier-2013-yeah.jpg.pagespeed.ce.wcV4yCtC7M.jpg
toyota_harrier_2013_pictures_1_b.jpg images_toyota_harrier_2013_2_b.jpg
13-07-26-lexus-rx-vs-toyota-harrier-2013.jpg.pagespeed.ce.4eizPz2ara.jpg


Facelift MY2018 Harrier introduced in Summer 2017 ~ November 2020
toyota-harrier-turbo_1-750x491.jpg
Toyota-Harrier-02-1024x680.jpg Toyota-Harrier-08-1024x680.jpg
Toyota-Harrier-05-1024x680.jpg

December 2020 ~
See this Japanese article about the next Harrier, due in late 2020.

(Edit: This was posted as a thread, but now I see Joaquin already made one on this during my absence).
 
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spwolf

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Is it possible that a new Harrier based on TNGA-K will be one of the new crossovers for the Toyota brand? If I recall, between the FT-4X, a CUV below the next Highlander, and then another, that's how many crossovers are in planning. Is that CUV below the 2020 Highlander, a 2021 MY Harrier? Weird name for Americans, but Toyota did file for trademark of that nameplate in the USPTO recently on August 2, 2018. As well as Corolla Cross.

The Harrier was based on the Lexus RX 300 originally in 1997 (based on VCV20 ES 300), moving to K platform in 2003, going separate ways in late 2008, and then a redesign being developed from 2009 to 2013, on the New MC architecture.

It somewhat replaced the RAV4 in JDM. Since the RAV4 is now TNGA-K, does this mean it will sit above it (while utilizing the same architecture) as a Ford Edge, Honda Passport, Hyundai Sante Fe, and Nissan Murano competitor and Venza replacement?

The Harrier was introduced in 2013, refreshed in mid-2017 and on schedule for a redesign in 2020. Timing of trademark makes sense, in being 2 years ahead of introduction.

MY 2014 Harrier introduced in December 2013 - 2017 (Ignore RX Comparison)
View attachment 2978
View attachment 2983 View attachment 2984
View attachment 2979


Facelift MY2018 Harrier introduced in Summer 2017 ~ November 2020
View attachment 2980
View attachment 2981 View attachment 2982
View attachment 2985

December 2020 ~
See this Japanese article about the next Harrier, due in late 2020.

(Edit: This was posted as a thread, but now I see Joaquin already made one on this during my absence).
Harrier is a luxury version of Rav4... It works in Japan where Toyota has many near-premium vehicles to maximize their profit. It really does not make too much sense for it to be offered outside Japan, as it competes then with NX and Rav4, while being very similar vehicle... it is basically vehicle between Rav4 and NX, without any really size differences.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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Harrier is a luxury version of Rav4... It works in Japan where Toyota has many near-premium vehicles to maximize their profit. It really does not make too much sense for it to be offered outside Japan, as it competes then with NX and Rav4, while being very similar vehicle... it is basically vehicle between Rav4 and NX, without any really size differences.
You're right if the next-generation Harrier maintains its present mission and positioning within the Toyota lineup. But what if its mission statement changes for the next generation? Harrier actually shrank in size from its 2nd to current 3rd generation (moving from K to smaller New MC platform in the process). What if it evolves into something larger than RAV4? (Even as RAV4 itself, ironically, grew into the TNGA-K architecture). What if Harrier returns to being 2-row RX-sized, becoming a de facto replacement for the defunct Venza?
 

spwolf

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You're right if the next-generation Harrier maintains its present mission and positioning within the Toyota lineup. But what if its mission statement changes for the next generation? Harrier actually shrank in size from its 2nd to current 3rd generation (moving from K to smaller New MC platform in the process). What if it evolves into something larger than RAV4? (Even as RAV4 itself, ironically, grew into the TNGA-K architecture). What if Harrier returns to being 2-row RX-sized, becoming a de facto replacement for the defunct Venza?
Why keep on Venza? I mean it was unloved product sold only in the US? It will never come back.

Question is not Harrier, question is if Highlander is going worldwide with new hybrid powertrain? It is present now in China and Australia, but not in rest of the countries... Highlander on TNGA, a bit lighter and with new hybrid would be quite interesting vehicle and clear step up from Rav4.

Other than that, I would think that Prius v replacement is a thing, with 3 rows seating.
 

mikeavelli

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With the way the market is going, another SUV makes sense. Honda is bringing back the Pilot....

The Venza, no disrespect, was one of the worst vehicles I ever drove.
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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With the way the market is going, another SUV makes sense. Honda is bringing back the Pilot....
Pilot? You mean the Passport, right?

The Venza, no disrespect, was one of the worst vehicles I ever drove.
Why? I drove one most of the length of the California coast and into southern Oregon and was pleasantly surprised by it.
 
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