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Toyota Backs Off Full-Size Pickup War


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tundra816.jpg

Mark Rechtin

Automotive News

October 3, 2008 - 1:52 pm ET

PARIS -- Despite its recent 0 percent financing deals, Toyota is not going to engage Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge in their full-sized pickup sales war, said Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

"I don't want to get stuck in the middle of Ford and Chevy battling for the No. 1 truck this year, and Dodge launching the Ram," Lentz said in an interview here.

Chevrolet sold 50,428 Silverados last month,off just 3.9 percent in a plummeting segment that saw Tundra fall 60.7 percent, the Ford F-150 drop 41.6 percent, and Dodge Ram off 30.9 percent. Toyota had hoped to sell about 20,000 Tundras a month this year; September sales were just 7,696 units.

Lentz said part of the decline was an abbreviated 2008 model year from its Texas and Indiana truck plants that were temporarily shut down. With a segment forecast to be as low as 1.5 million units -- down from a peak of 2.5 million units -- the pickup fight could get desperate. It doesn't help Toyota that many of its past Tundra buyers -- such as those who drive because of image and commuters -- are walking away from the segment.

"There are a lot of substitutions" for other vehicles, "and most of them won't be back," Lentz said.

Lentz also confirmed that the development of a diesel-engine variant of the Tundra has been tabled. While the diesel has not been canceled outright, Toyota is studying whether it makes sense to enter such a small segment. That's a big step back from Toyota telling dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention last year that a diesel would arrive by 2010 or 2011.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20081003/A.../810039952/1078

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Given market conditions (and the fact that the Tundra has been quite the flop) Toyota would be wise to position the Tacoma as its biggest truck and replace to Tundra with a smaller, compact pickup. It couldn't sell much worse.

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It's good to read such news. I have a strong dislike for the Tundra, and to see it fail (nice spin Mr. Lentz) gives me hope for a renewed sanity in the American market. And yes, I agree with Satty, the Tacoma is too large to be considered "compact" anymore. Tundra should be dropped, and a new, truly compact, but conventional (NO A-BAT crap) small pickup should emerge. Of course, GM, Ford and Dodge should have something in the compact segment, too.
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If Toyota got rid of the Tundra altogether, how long before the PR guy turns this into a green decision?

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Ford does, they've just let it rot away.

So true. The 4-cyl Ranger gets like 25 odd MPG highway. If they could have spent a little bit of the money from the R&D of F450 and other behemoths on upgrading the Ranger, making it a little bit more ergonomic and livable, it could be a good money maker for Ford.

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Where is the media tirade chastising Toyota about missing the market and poor management?

(Remember in 2002-2003 when all we read in Big 3 headlines was "Gas guzzler this" and "Gas guzzler that")

Yet again, Toyota screws up big time and it's virtually ignored by the media. Yet GM brings out an electric car that destroys the Prius and pretty much makes it obsolete, and people are already starting to pick it apart and claim that "it won't make a difference"

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HHHMMMMMM, 2 plants and billions invested to conquer the segment. hire a bunch of people. build a $h!ty ass truck, close a plant. throw away workers when you are done. take public money to build said plant and now its worthless. all within a couple years.

well, that's ok, the Japanese govt will take care of it.

shows you the level of commitment toyota has to the product, doesn't it. toyota and their mediocre fking operation can go to hell.

Edited by regfootball
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"There are a lot of substitutions" for other vehicles, "and most of them won't be back," Lentz said.

hehe thats cause the jerkholes had no need for a truck to begin with... it was the toyota version of the 2 dr tahoe craze everyone around my town was going through 5 yrs ago. its the IN thing quick go get one and be cool too!

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FOG, the Volt wont be available for over a year and isn't likely to be priced within $10,000 of the Prius.

Doesn't matter...

The point is the innovation in relation to the image the media has built around GM.

The first Prius and Insight weren't exactly mainstream products either.

But my origianl point was that Toyota has, yet again, missed the market (big time) and no one seems to notice.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Toyota has sold around half a million Priuses in the U.S. They made the hybrid market, so of course everything will be compared to the Prius, and the media will ask why it has taken everyone else so long to catch up. Same thing with Chrysler and minivans. Chrysler got a free pass on minivans for years because they brought the segment into the mainstream, and the public bought them in droves, even though they sucked. Its only been recently (last few years) that Honda has earned credibility in the minivan world. The Sienna and Quest are also-rans, the Kia/Hyundai vans dont register with consumers (I saw an ad for $5,000 off a Sedona) and the domestic makers are abandoning the segment.

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that picture at the top of this thread is a really really ass ugly gross looking pig of a truck. i almost want to vomit.

Funny story:

We recently attended the "Blues, Brews & BBQ" festival here in Charlotte. They had a neighborhood competition that some of our friends competed in (and won). At the entrance of the competition sat a brand new Tundra. My GF looks over at me with the most sincere and innocent look on her face and says; "Hey, they actually brought a mascot for the competition! It's a big mechanical pig!" The Toyota dealer didn't really know what to say and I laughed my ass off.

BTW, that same competing friend had wild blackberries soaked in moonshine -- we are from the mountains after all. (For V.I.P.s only :D) Man it was good stuff! Tasted like fruit and Kerosene, LOL.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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Funny story:

We recently attended the "Blues, Brews & BBQ" festival here in Charlotte. They had a neighborhood competition that some of our friends competed in (and won). At the entrance of the competition sat a brand new Tundra. My GF looks over at me with the most sincere and innocent look on her face and says; "Hey, they actually brought a mascot for the competition! It's a big mechanical pig!" The Toyota dealer didn't really know what to say and I laughed my ass off.

BTW, that same competing friend had wild blackberries soaked in moonshine -- we are from the mountains after all. (For V.I.P.s only :D) Man it was good stuff! Tasted like fruit and Kerosene, LOL.

Mmmm...wild blackberries.. I have fond memories of picking them, wild blueberries, red and black raspberries on my folks' farm in Ohio as a kid..

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Given market conditions (and the fact that the Tundra has been quite the flop) Toyota would be wise to position the Tacoma as its biggest truck and replace to Tundra with a smaller, compact pickup. It couldn't sell much worse.

I actually liked the older sorta a 7/8 sized Tundra much better. For a light duty pickup (pull a formula race car such as a formula ford, or a popup camper) it was about right.

For an enclosed trailer and a Camaro/Mustang sized race car or a fullsized camping trailer or an open trailer with a tractor or excavating equipt....pass me the fullsize Chevy with the Allison tranny, please...

Chris

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For once, I really don't hate to say:

I Told You So!

:rotflmao:

I believed you, Camino...

Hope that counts for something!

Chris

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One last post in this thread. Was working on a pole by the road by the neartest Toytoa dealer, up in the air and trying to get a ballast changed.

Several Semi's full of trucks went past, and it took a moment to register.

The only thing on the car carriers were Tacomas, and they weren't new, some were really nice and some were pretty crappy.

There were quite a few Semi/Car carrier loads.

Must have been a hell of a lot of buy backs.

Chris

Chris

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One last post in this thread. Was working on a pole by the road by the neartest Toytoa dealer, up in the air and trying to get a ballast changed.

Several Semi's full of trucks went past, and it took a moment to register.

The only thing on the car carriers were Tacomas, and they weren't new, some were really nice and some were pretty crappy.

There were quite a few Semi/Car carrier loads.

Must have been a hell of a lot of buy backs.

Chris

Chris

Toyota was estimating 1/2 of all production in the affected years (400,000 units). I haven't heard anything about it lately - but I haven't been looking either.

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We recently attended the "Blues, Brews & BBQ" festival here in Charlotte. They had a neighborhood competition that some of our friends competed in (and won). At the entrance of the competition sat a brand new Tundra. My GF looks over at me with the most sincere and innocent look on her face and says; "Hey, they actually brought a mascot for the competition! It's a big mechanical pig!" The Toyota dealer didn't really know what to say and I laughed my ass off.

Keep her, FOG. She knows her cars (or reasonable facsimiles thereof).

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Hey last week I was at my local small town Chev, Buick, Pontiac dealer and the salesman knew a guy who got 150% of what his Tacoma was worth it went in for an oil change and he went to go pick it up the dealer just said how does X,XXX price sound for it. The guy wasn't stupid and sold it. Then he got a used 2004 Silverado Z71 Crew Cab with Flex Fuel 5.3! :scratchchin: So Toyota is doing it very quietly and smoothly.

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This is great news. (I think all 7000 of those Tundras sold last month were sold here in Texas - I see tons of them around here). Toyota probably doesn't bug me as much as it does a lot of the people on this board, but for some reason, the Tundra really gets under my skin.

Actually, I'm seeing TONS of new Silverados around though too. A friend of mine bought a new black 5.3L Z71 about a month ago - it's really pretty sweet.

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I've been seeing a lot of new Silverados and a few Sierras lately..surprisingly quite a few around in the city. Was out for lunch today, and saw a really sharp black 4wd crew cab short bed Sierra 2500 with black custom wheels and tinted windows..really striking truck (and I'm not even a truck fan, but it turned my head).

It looked very much like this one on ebay:

490343_fa9acc48-aa1a-4abb-a096-665560401

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This is the best I have heard in along time. Build $h! and you won't sell it at least not in the truck market.

That and look at how really happy people are with the new Chevy/GMC trucks. I work on construction sites and guys just LOVE these trucks. GM has got them really, really, right. Hell, I'm a Micro car and oldies kinda guy and even I'm in lust over them.

Chris

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Actually, I'm seeing TONS of new Silverados around though too. A friend of mine bought a new black 5.3L Z71 about a month ago - it's really pretty sweet.

A friend of mine has the same truck, slightly lifted with some sweet aftermarket rims and a little added chrome.

Nice truck!

Chris

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Hey last week I was at my local small town Chev, Buick, Pontiac dealer and the salesman knew a guy who got 150% of what his Tacoma was worth it went in for an oil change and he went to go pick it up the dealer just said how does X,XXX price sound for it. The guy wasn't stupid and sold it. Then he got a used 2004 Silverado Z71 Crew Cab with Flex Fuel 5.3! :scratchchin: So Toyota is doing it very quietly and smoothly.

Quite a nice upgrade!

I'll bet he's happy.

Chris

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