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Flybrian

GM Ready for Toyota Trucks

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Flybrian    0

GM ready for Toyota trucks

Tundra will claim some of the pickup market, but Detroit automaker is confident in its products.

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Link to Original Article @ DetNews

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WASHINGTON -- General Motors Corp. Vice Chairman Robert Lutz said Toyota's redesigned Tundra pickup, hitting showrooms in February, is likely to be a strong seller, but GM doesn't expect to cede much market share to the Asian automaker.

"They'll do well," Lutz said in a brief interview with reporters Monday in Washington, but he doesn't think the Tundra will steal much from GM's full-size truck sales, which add up to about 1 million units annually.

Toyota Motor Corp. will open an $850 million, 2.2-million-square-foot manufacturing facility next week in San Antonio, where the Japanese automaker will begin building the pickups, which are bigger than previous versions of the Tundra and more competitive with GM, Ford and Dodge trucks.With the new Tundra, Toyota is taking on Detroit's Big Three in one of the most profitable vehicle segments, one they have long dominated.

GM, Ford Motor Co. and Dodge parent DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group accounted for about 90 percent of the 2.5 million vehicle full-size pickup truck market last year, led by GM's 935,000 unit sales and Ford's 901,000.

That pecking order is not likely to change even as sales projections vary. Analysts -- and Ford -- estimate sales of full-size trucks will be down as much as 8 percent to 2.3 million units this year. GM sales chief Mark LaNeve expects sales to "be up slightly next year."

Demand has wavered this year amid volatile gas prices.

Ford's F-series sales -- 901,000 in 2005 -- rose 3 percent in October but are off 10.2 percent for the year. Chevy's big pickup sales are down 10.8 percent through October.

In September, Don Esmond, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota Motor Sales USA, told The Detroit News the automaker wants to double Tundra volume with the 2007 model.

Sales of the current Tundra rose 17.1 percent in October, to just over 10,000 units.

Lutz said Toyota was relying on heavy incentives to sell the pickup.

GM's new 2007 Silverado, meanwhile, got off to a strong start with sales up 104 percent last month. The vehicle debuted in mid-October.

"The customers will decide," LaNeve said Monday. "I do know that we have done a sensational job of listening to our customers."

Toyota spokeswoman Denise Morrissey agreed the market will decide, but said the automaker expects to sell 200,000 Tundras next year, up from about 126,000 in 2005. Through October, Toyota has sold about 100,000 Tundras.

Morrissey noted that when Dodge launched a redesigned Ram in 1994, sales tripled as 215,000 buyers switched to Dodge.

"We've been competing with Ford, GM and Dodge for 50 years," Morrissey said. "We know the full-size market is very loyal and smart. Once they get familiar with the Tundra, get to know it, I think they will consider it. Loyalty is definitely key in this market, but it will only get you so far."

Jim Quinlin, a Knoxville, Tenn., Chevrolet dealer, expects the Toyota truck to be a tough competitor.

"They are going to take some share," he said. "But the new Chevy truck is great, so I don't think they'll take too much from us."

David Healy, an auto analyst with Burnham Securities, said Toyota will be a formidable rival, but it won't be easy.

"Toyota is not going to get a lot of the good ol' boys out of the Silverados and F-150s," Healy said. "The idea is mostly these are going to be sold to people who already own Toyotas and are looking to upgrade into that area."

Lutz said when Japanese automakers grabbed significant share in the U.S. car market between 1979 and 1981, Toyota and Honda Motor Co. were building better quality vehicles.

In the truck market, Detroit's Big Three build vehicles of comparable quality to Japanese models, he said, which makes it less likely loyal GM buyers will shift to a foreign nameplate.

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CARBIZ    1

I want the phone number of Denise's dealer: she is getting some mighty fine crack if she compares the Tundra to the '94 Ram. The Dodge Ram of that year was way ahead of its time; more importantly, it took a boring, plain-Jane pick up and set the pick up market on its ear with its Kenworth-like styling.

The '07 Tundra is anything but ground breaking. It is just another boring, plain vanilla- looking Japanese truck. How does Toyota expect to double its sales? Just because it is a Toyota? That might have been plausible if GM wasn't already unveiling its new truck just prior.

I should think the pick up market is going to get very interesting, but I wouldn't expect either Ford or GM to lose much market share.

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Northstar    11

I don't think the Tundra will take hardly any share from the GM trucks. I see the Ram and mostly the Titan suffering the most, with the GM trucks suffering the least.

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Mr.Krinkle    0

first off, the 94 ram was huge for a couple of reasons, one being it

was featured in die hard 3. that sounds so long ago but those movies were

huge and it enjoyed tremendous exposure--and deservedly so i think

because it was different and appealing and wam! the sales shot up. it was almost an universal acceptance or agreement that these trucks were hot. cant say that about the tundra.

top 20 sellers thru oct.

this chart shows all pick up sales down ~10% while the explorer and tb down ~25%

almost identical. obviously gas prices had an impact on these numbers, but what does that mean for the pu market in general?

it will be interesting to see where these sales end up because the people

who genuinely need them, for the most part, do not rely or even care about the look of the truck-- and that can be a point for either. --and theres a lot of happy tacoma shoppers out there...

i think toyota practically goads the market with ugly car after ugly car and watches and snickers as sales go up.

id like to think some people were/are waiting for the new gm trucks but come feb or march with both entries out the picture will become more clear and the trends will start to show themselves. thats really when it will be joined.

Edited by Mr.Krinkle

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Drew Dowdell    4,989

I'm not fan of the Silverado's styling, but it sure beats the hell out of the Tundra's styling.

213052[/snapback]

For those that don't like the Silverado's styling, can I interest you in this lovely GMC Sierra over here?

Posted Image

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Bizz    0

I want the phone number of Denise's dealer: she is getting some mighty fine crack if she compares the Tundra to the '94 Ram.

maybe she got confused because they look so similiar.

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daves87rs    327

I don't think the Tundra is going to have much of an impact againist the Rado'.

The only truck that might suffer in the current Ram.

I think the really should have cut production a while back.

It may hurt Nissan, but I doubt that too...

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Polish_Kris    0

I dunno why everyone is going crazy that this truck will hurt the GM trucks, just like the Titan was suppose to make a splash, and remember where that went. The new Tundra will do better than the current generation, but it will not convince loyal GM and Ford buyers to switch over. The only way it might make an impact is if Toyota offers the rumoured, Hino-powered HD model with a dually. This may attract the Tow-Truck and coffee-truck driver market, however Toyota has not impressed me with this. They need to offer more choice, a manual transmission is a start. As a UPS driver, and drive a 20-year old GM-based truck with the 4300 and an old four speed manual. I'm telling you, that shifting will always beat automatic, and especially when hauling heavy cargo. If Toyota can fufill the demands of ALL the buyers of trucks, then GM, and Ford will need to be scared, however, this will be a truck for people who don't really need a truck.

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regfootball    234

GM's redo came at the right time. the new tundra is soft looking. buyers of trucks are not typically interested in pansy ass Japanese import lover styling, look at the backlash that happened when Ford melted the F150 back in the late nineties...that's what the new tundra looks like. Truck fashion usually sides with something rather tough looking, and the Chevy's manage to look crisp and tough at the same time.

You can bet all the comparison tests have been written and checks have been cashed already though. The buff books will hand Toyota the winner tag because Toyota has deeper pockets.

Lutz is right about the incentives, toyota has been pushing 4k or more in incentives on the current tundra.

that grille alone on the new tundra is enough to scare buyers away in droves.

Edited by regfootball

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Nick    31

The GMT-900's are the Mastershake to Toyota's Meatwad Tundra.

213010[/snapback]

:lol:

I don't know if that is good or bad...and where does Frylock come in?

BTW, nice choice in comparison shots at the top... :rolleyes:

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rosserman    0

Although i agree that hardcore truck buyers care a little less about styling, they still don't want to drive a funky looking truck. If the new tundra take a large amount of market share away from ford or GM i will be completely amazed

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GEESIXER    0

Damn it!!!! I was just going to say something about the fact that the Chevy pic is a fully loaded mother of a Truck, and the yota looks more like a base model Canyon.

but someone else beat me to it.

U-G-L-Y you aint got no aliby. you ugly!

:lol2:

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regfootball    234

Toyota's approach to jump in so aggressively with 3 feet into this segment should come to prove out one thing.......

whether or not Toyota can continue to keep growing and build their market share solely on reputation alone, or will this be the market segment that will finally draw attention to the fact that Toyota will now finally need to start competing with it vehicles in terms of style and performance?

up until now, toyotas have been excused form being top performers. To me, this should draw attention to the debate on whether they can continue to be excused for being one dimensional (a creation of consumer reports).

Edited by regfootball

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CARBIZ    1

The key to success in this market is twofold: 1) offering engine/driveline/body configurations to appeal to more people and 2) walking the fine line between in-your-face styling and something too boring.

Frankly, GM and Ford have always been the best at doing this, going back 40 years. Japan Inc. has failed time and time again to infiltrate this market. The only real success they've had is in the car-based truck markets that Acura and Lexus enjoy and their girlie-man trucks, because those customers don't need a truck, they just need a station wagon. The Titan (which I don't mind, BTW) tries too hard. The Tundra looks like, well - a Toyota, which I believe for the truck market is a bad thing.

People who like toasters will buy a Camry but those customers don't buy trucks.

And I personally believe that the GM trucks have been the perennial sales winners because they have always been very clean looking. Ten years from now, the '07 Silverado will have aged well. I don't think the Titan will have the same fate, and I think everyone except CR will have forgotten this Tundra.

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Cory Wolfe    263

Haha the Chev still looks nicer!

213762[/snapback]

Eh... I think they both still look pretty bad, though obviously, the higher trim levels of each are definite improvements while the base trims look like absolute garbage.

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Northstar    11

Eh... I think they both still look pretty bad, though obviously, the higher trim levels of each are definite improvements while the base trims look like absolute garbage.

214040[/snapback]

:yes:

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