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Despite Dismal Sales, Toyota “Absolutely” Committed to Full-Size Tundra Pickup

“All options on the table,” including heavy-duty truck; but what about hybrid?

by on Jul.29, 2011

Toyota continues to plan for a next-gen Tundra and may look for new ways to build demand, whether with a heavy-duty model, diesels or even hybrids.

Though sale have fallen well short of Toyota’s initial goals, the industry giant remains “absolutely” committed to keeping the full-size Tundra pickup in its line-up, according to a senior company official.

In its bid to boost demand for the truck, “all options are on the table,” Group Vice President and Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter tells TheDetroitBureau.com. That includes the long-rumored possibility of adding a heavy-duty model to the Tundra line.  Could a hybrid also be in the offing?

“We are actively planning and developing” the replacement for the current Tundra, which Carter suggests may have simply been a victim of circumstance.  The current model launched in 2007, just before gasoline surged to $4 a gallon in the U.S. for the first time and the subsequent economic crash.  That led sales of full-size pickups, in general to drop to barely 1.1 million, off from the industry peak of 2.5 million.

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“I will tell you we’re in the truck business for the long-term,” Carter stresses.  That includes both full-size and compact pickups, even though many of the maker’s competitors are dropping out of the smaller truck segment.  Ford, for example, is killing off its long-lived Ranger and has decided against bringing into the U.S. a new version recently launched in Thailand.

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