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Posts Tagged ‘Toyota Tundra’

Move to Texas Could Help Toyota Tackle Truck Market

Japanese maker struggles to gain ground in full-size pickup segment.

by on Apr.29, 2014

A TRD Pro Tundra goes through its paces.

One of the key motives for Toyota’s decision to move its headquarters and marketing staff from Southern California to Texas undoubtedly involves gearing up for another assault on the lucrative North American truck market, industry experts suggests.

While Toyota has gained ground in SUVs and CUVs, and dominates the small midsize pickup segment, it has failed to gain any real traction in the lucrative full-size pickup segment dominated by its Detroit rivals, despite spending billions on its Tundra line and the plant that produces it.

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Art Wheaton, an automotive industry expert and faculty member at Cornell University, said cost savings are only part of Toyota’s motivation for leaving Southern California. Suggesting the Japanese maker “has been woefully falling behind Ford, Hyundai and others in (its) plain or boring designs,” Wheaton said “The move, for Toyota, may help increase the willingness to be bold and take risks as a large turnover in employees is expected.”

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Toyota Goes to Extremes with New TRD Pro Series Trucks

Modified trucks designed to push the limits.

by on Feb.06, 2014

A TRD Pro Tundra goes through its paces.

Toyota wants to kick up some dust with its newest TRD Pro Series of off-road trucks.  Targeting buyers who hope to push the limits with their Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner models, the TRD versions were specially developed by the maker’s motorsports division, Toyota Racing Development, and bear the fruits of successful off-road racing programs like the Baja 1000.

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TRD has been tuning Toyota trucks for more than four decades, with the performance arm establishing a U.S. base in Costa Mesa, California in 1979.

TRD models are designed to be put to serious use off-road, though Toyota claims they have plenty of street cred, as well.

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Ford Blows Past Last Year’s Truck Sales

Truck giant tracking to hit 2006 sales levels.

by on Nov.19, 2013

Ford has already sold more F-Series trucks than it did all of 2012.

New vehicle sales have been humming along this year, in large part due to the renewed popularity of full-size pickups. Nowhere has it been more evident than at Ford, which gets a reminder every 42 seconds.

The company announced today that it has already sold more F-Series trucks this year than it did last year with six weeks left to go. F-Series sales have now exceeded 645,316 trucks: one every 42 seconds, according to Ford.

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“If our truck business continues at this rate through the end of the year, we will reach 60,000 F-Series sales for eight straight months, putting us on par with 2006, before the economic downturn,” said Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst, in a release. (more…)

Ram Diesel Named Truck of Texas

Shutouts for Toyota Tundra, Chevrolet Silverado.

by on Oct.15, 2013

The 2014 Ram Diesel gets a tip of the 10 gallon hat from Texas Auto Writers.

The folks at General Motors have to be gritting their teeth and stomping their cowboy boots this morning.  Despite the general raves being heaped upon the maker’s new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, the General’s new offerings were nudged aside by the year-old Ram when the influential Texas Auto Writers wrapped up their annual pickup truck shoot-out.

Those longhorn journalists gave their Truck of Texas award – again — to the year-old Ram 1500. Well, to be more precise, this year’s winner is the new Ram 1500 diesel, the very first oil-burner to be offered in the half-ton full-size pickup segment.

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These and a host of other awards were handed out after two days of testing at the Texas Auto Writer’s Association’s 23rd Truck Rodeo. The competition — which puts a variety of trucks, traditional SUVs and even some more newfangled crossovers through a variety of on- and off-road torture tests  — delivered a few surprises, including shut-outs for both the new Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Tundra models.

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Toyota Rolls Out All-New Tundra

New truck takes aim at dominant domestics.

by on Feb.07, 2013

The 2014 Toyota Tundra makes its Windy City debut.

You don’t get to be number one by sitting on the sidelines. Yet, since rolling out the original T100 more than two decades ago, Toyota has largely been left on the bench in the U.S. full-size pickup market.  It remains the only major segment where the world’s largest automaker has repeatedly failed to become a significant, if not dominant player.

But Toyota is nothing if not patient.  It took a series of tries to get on the boards in the once-thriving minivan market. And the Japanese maker is betting that it will eventually come up with the right formula for a full-size truck.

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Like the one it is showing off in Chicago this week, an all-new version of the Toyota Tundra that has clearly been designed to correct past mistakes.  The third-generation Toyota truck features a bolder, more rugged design, a bigger and quieter cabin, and a number of what the maker claims to be truck segment firsts, including Blind Spot Monitoring and Cross-Traffic Alert.

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Nissan Planning New Titan for Likely 2015 Debut

More body styles, powertrain options aimed to enhance appeal.

by on Feb.07, 2013

The current Nissan Titan is a marginal player in the big pickup market.

One thing the Japanese have demonstrated, over and over again, is that they live by the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” And nowhere is that more apparent than in the full-size truck market.

Despite repeated attempts, Nissan and Toyota have failed to dislodge Detroit’s firm grip on the huge and highly profitable segment. But even as the bigger of the two makers gets ready to reveal an all-new version of the Tundra pickup during the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, Nissan officials are confirming that they’re working up a replacement for their own full-size offering, the Titan.

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Japanese officials, hoping to grab a bit of Toyota’s spotlight, announced they are “prepared for (the) long haul” and are “moving fast” to launch an “all-new” version of Titan.  While they didn’t have much else to say about their plans, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned some significant additional details from Nissan planners attending the Chicago Auto Show.

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Truck Wars: Detroit Makers Battle Out in Industry’s Most Profitable Market Segment

Asians largely sitting on the sidelines.

by on Jan.22, 2013

Ford teases its next-generation F-Series pickup with the big Atlas Concept truck.

American motorists will have to wait a couple more years before they can get their hands on the next-generation Ford F-Series pickup.  But that didn’t matter much to Wall Street, investors driving up the maker’s stock following the unexpected unveiling of the maker’s Atlas Concept truck at the North American International Auto Show.

And for good reason.  The F-Series has dominated the huge pickup segment for 36 years running. But it’s got a tough fight ahead if Ford hopes to maintain that lead. General Motors used the Detroit Auto Show to reveal its next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size trucks. And during the show’s opening ceremonies, the new 2013 Ram 1500 was named North American Truck of the Year by a panel of 50 U.S. and Canadian journalists.

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Meanwhile, though they’ve repeatedly failed to crack the last key market segment dominated by Detroit, Japanese makers haven’t abandoned their own aspirations, Toyota and Nissan expected to make significant updates to their own trucks in the next few years.

“There is nothing more core to our business than trucks and we think we’re timing this very well,” Mark Reuss, GM’s president of North American operations, said during a media sneak peek at the Silverado and Sierra models last month.

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Light Truck Sales on the Rise: Is Wall St out of Touch With Main St?

Lower fuel prices help, but increase also may signal optimism among the working class.

by on Oct.04, 2011

Will sales of full-size pickups help pull the overall economy along?

Does Main Street know something Wall Street doesn’t?  That’s a question observers are asking as they explore the minutiae of the September U.S. auto sales figures.  Overall sales posted a strong upturn – reaching their highest annualized rate since last April – buoyed in part by demand for pickups and other light trucks.

That jump clearly was linked to the sharp decline in fuel prices – buyers in some parts of the country now seeing pumps set below $3 a gallon – but it may also indicate a renewed optimism among America’s working class.  These days, the so-called personal use truck market has largely dried up, most pickup buyers actually using their vehicles for works.

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“It’s definitely a positive sign,” said David Sullivan, auto analyst with AutoPacific, Inc.  “I think the increase…says things may not be as bad as all the doom and gloom we’re hearing.”

During September, the annualized sales rate increased to 13 million, a surprising upturn considering the crash on Wall Street and steady news coverage of what could be the beginning of a double-dip recession.  While overall new vehicle sales rose 10%, the figures were even bigger in the various light truck segments, which together captured 54% of the market, the biggest percentage for all of 2011.

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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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Ford Seeks to Block Ferrari from Using F150 Badge

U.S. maker taking dispute to court.

by on Feb.09, 2011

Ferrari F150 - definitely not a pickup truck.

A simmering dispute between U.S. automaker Ford and Italy’s Ferrari has bubbled into public view and could soon land the two makers in court.

Ford plans to seek an injunction, this week against Ferrari over the use of the F150 name for the Italian maker’s latest Formula 1 racecar, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Similar disputes have occurred over the years, though were usually settled without going to court – or even appearing in public.

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Toyota, for example, once planned to adopt the 150 designation for its full-size pickups, an upgrade of the earlier T-100.  Facing Ford’s wrath, the Japanese maker eventually went with Tundra.

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