By on January 18, 2007

2007_tundra_152222.jpgTrivia buffs, scholars of ancient history and encyclopedia-reading geeks know the first month of the year is named for the Roman god Janus. Janus didn’t have any special powers. His entire claim to fame was based on having two faces, one on the front of his head and one on the back. Since Janus could keep an eye on what was coming as well as what was going, he was placed in charge of gates and doors, transitions, and beginnings and endings. Being two faced also meant he could talk out of two mouths at the same time. Kinda like Toyota.

Toyota spends millions of dollars touting themselves as the automotive equivalent of the Sierra Club. They’re out to save the planet with their Hybrid Synergy Drive and put OPEC sheiks on the public dole with their fuel sipping econoboxes. They’re so magnanimous they’re sharing their hybrid technology with Ford and Nissan (and anyone else willing to pay the price).

Toyota’s even bragging that their new manufacturing plants will produce no waste to clog the landfills. Yes, the birds are singing in the trees and daisies are blooming in the meadows thanks to Toyota. And then there’s the Tundra.

Toyota makes no bones about it: they want to be a major player in America’s lucrative full-size pickup market. After years of twiddling their toes in the water with a size 30-slim Tundra, they finally cowboyed-up and built them a gen-u-ine giant. The new Toyota Tundra is every bit as gi-normous and gluttonous as the Dodge Rams, Chevrolet Silverados and Ford F150's it faces. 

And they’re promoting it heavily. Over three-quarters of Toyota's NAIAS stand was dedicated to the Tundra. The display featured the he-man image the Japanese automaker wants to associate with their mega machine. And you can bet the Tundra’s advertising budget will be equal to or greater than that of their tree-hugger specials. Combined.

Meanwhile, Toyota’s playing footsie with federal regulations. Their Texas-built pickup hits dealer showrooms in February– at the same time other manufacturers are beginning to introduce some of their 2008 models. But Toyota is adamant the new Tundra is an ’07. That’s because the U.S. government is changing the way they calculate the fuel mileage ratings for ‘08 model year pickups. 

The new procedures will make the numbers on the window sticker more realistic (i.e. lower). ToMoCo can’t risk lower numbers against competition’s higher-rated ’07 models. They’ll get to display the higher numbers for a few months before the (unchanged) ’08 models go on sale this fall with ratings 8 to 12 percent lower than the ‘07s.

As you can imagine, Toyota’s heavy emphasis on their new gas-guzzling leviathan hasn’t gone unnoticed by auto-oriented environmentalists. In fact, environmental groups are finally facing reality: their automotive eco-darling is (gasp!) nothing more than a business. A business that conforms to all CAFE regulations, of course,  but will do whatever it takes to make a profit. 

Some environmentalists are none-too-pleased to discover Toyota’s enviro-friendly posture was based more on marketing and profits than saving the planet. The greenies are indignant, and they're striking back. 

Backed by groups like the Rainforest Action Network, The Freedom From Oil Campaign (FFOC) has put Toyota on notice: no more “free pass.” According to an FFOC statement, the group's launching a new campaign designed to ensure that “auto makers are taking the interim steps needed to show that they are truly committed to fuel economy and not just good PR.” 

While commending Toyota for its past record for fuel economy, they’ve added the transplant to their list of targets. It may not be long before the FFOC organizes pickets outside Toyota dealerships, as they’ve done at Ford dealerships. The Toyota Tundra could become the tree-hugger's next lightning rod, replacing the (so-ten-minutes-ago) Hummer H2.

You have to wonder why it took environmentalists this long to see the light (heavy?). Toyota’s trucks have never been what you’d call “parsimonious” with petrol. The automotive press has consistently panned their two hybrid SUVs for their disappointing real world fuel economy. Once the 2008 testing procedures are in place, it’ll be interesting to see where Toyota falls on the charts and how the more realistic numbers will affect opinions of their greenmobiles.

As a company that exploits its environmental responsibility, Toyota can't be pleased to find the eco-radicals on their case. The company will have to spin like a whirling dervish to handle the fallout. I’m confident, though, that they’ll pull out all the stops to protect their green rep. I can see it now: “Clean air for oxygen breathers courtesy of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and carbon dioxide for plant life by the Toyota Tundra. We have the ecosystem covered!” Janus would be smiling– on both sides of his head.

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184 Comments on “Two Faced Toyota?...”


  • avatar
    JJ

    I still don’t see the Tundra becoming a huge succes. I think the concept of a full size truck clashes to much with Toyota’s brand image.

    On top of that, the fuel mileage is EVEN WORSE for this thing then most of its competitors, which, ironically enough, is a big selling point in this segment nowadays, if I’m not mistaken.

    I’ve said it before, and as a self proclaimed petrol head it saddens me to say it, but driving these vehicles around in the numbers that they still do in the US seems irresponsible in these times. You’re flooding our country (Netherlands) ;).

    Still, there’s hope. I just read BMW is shipping their 1-Series over to the US and it will be sold as a 135i…now that should be a great, fast, nimble, fuel efficient car.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Why was the FFOC giving Toyota a free pass to begin with?

  • avatar

    Why was the FFOC giving Toyota a free pass to begin with?

    In their mind, Toyota’s hybrids and high-mileage cars more than made up for the damage done by their gas gulpers (Sequoia, etc.) which sold in relatively low numbers.

  • avatar
    phil

    i’m sick of editorials like this one that place the blame everywhere but where it belongs; the individual buying the damn truck. toyota is a business, a very successful one, because it builds products that PEOPLE WANT TO BUY. if the citizens of this country want to stop polluting the atmosphere they can stop buying the vehicles that pollute. people need/want trucks and toyota, just like the other manufacturers, will build them as long as the people buy them. get over it.

  • avatar

    phil

    As a free marketeer, I understand your anger and frustration. But this editorial isn’t apportioning blame for environmental damage (rfeal or imagined).

    Frank is simply pointing out that Toyota has been playing it both ways: selling itself as the tree hugger’s favorite while selling low mileage trucks.

  • avatar

    Frank –

    Can Toyota not have the best of both worlds (er faces), by introducing the first full size, hybrid pick-up. Also does the new Tundra have cylinder deactivation options available?

    TTAC – Thanks for a post that takes the gloves off with T and H. More of these are needed if you wish to be fair and balanced in the midst of your death and suicide watches for the 2.5.

    In the end, business is about making money. PERIOD! Now if you can do that by creating an eco-friendly image or any other type of image then great. But profit is what cycles the blood in the corporate world.

  • avatar
    Dayveo

    The people giving Toyota a free pass were foolish to begin with… of course its a business first!

    But the tone of this article doesn’t make sense to me. You’re attacking Toyota for building product people want to buy, and doing a good job marketing them?

    An no, Toyota cars are by no means 100% organic. But they are doing a better job than many other car companies. And doing something is better than doing nothing at all.

  • avatar

    Can Toyota not have the best of both worlds (er faces), by introducing the first full size, hybrid pick-up.

    Sure, but GM could beat them to the punch with that one. They say they’re going to offer a dual-mode Tahoe hybrid this fall and it probably wouldn’t take much to adapt that powertrain to the Silverado.

    Also does the new Tundra have cylinder deactivation options available?

    Not at this time, as far as I know.

  • avatar
    jurisb

    toyota doesn`t need to the supereconomical to be the best. it is enough to be a trendsetter and create an image of a diverse company. their hybrids are a know how, and shows their potential, and they can make gas guzzlers if they like as well, but still they will be high quality and reliable. the most pollution in the world comes from USA, and not from cars, but from powerstations, that use primitive ancient coal burning system. you can`t blame toyota, because they don`t have a single platform that would be borrowed from other country, they make everything themselves. they improve fit and finish, material texture, and don`t do rebadging. they play fair game, and will never bankrupt. american manufacturers must realize that only the product matters, not the advertizing slogan, i-pod connection jack or fancy colour options. people want their fords to be proudly designed and manufactured in the Usa, not rebadged mazda 6, that is later from ford fusion re-rebadged as mercury milan or lincoln whatever. koreans also started their car business building their cars on old japanese paltforms, but they realized, if they wanted to succed, they must show their ability to build complex components themselves. what trust does a ford give me if they build rearview mirrors, while the gearbox is from japan, and engine as well. mirrors we can build in Latvia too. show the ability in manufacturing complexity, and it will bring back consumers. here in latvia we can buy so many american items- chewing gum, shawing foam, shampoos. but when it deals with manufacutring precision and precision moulded parts, there are zero american manufacturers here. japanese , koreans galore. that is why none of countries really condemn japan, because they have deserved their superpower status by hi-tech manufacturing. you can`t be superpower by making billions of snickers, movies or ziplock bags. and the biggest added value comes from hi-precision movement manufacturing. and toyota dominates in this market when dealing with cars. they show their supremacy without bragging,. they are bragged by customers, not themselves. juris b. Latvia. lunatics@inbox.lv

  • avatar
    philbailey

    RF: I suggest you provide a link back to the Bob Elton article you published in April. [Here is the link – FW] Quote: Seen in this light, the Toyota Prius was a stroke of genius: a vehicle that boosts the company's CAFÉ numbers to SUV-sustaining levels AND generates enormous positive PR for the brand. Somehow, no one other than a few tree-hugging environmentalists and Chevy’s PR department seems to notice that Toyota's mileage on their other products lags behind the industry leaders. The social opprobrium attached to selling SUVs that are bigger and thirstier than a Chevy Tahoe (and probably more profitable) slides right off Toyota, because they’re the leaders in hybrid technology. In one brilliant marketing move, Toyota has transformed their money-losing small car operation into a priceless marketing campaign.

  • avatar
    ash78

    phil
    That’s exactly what I was thinking–personal responsibility uber alles.

    Toyota is NOT a niche player. They are not a brand that caters exclusively to the green movement, although I can see how enviro-conscious people want to align themselves with the brand.

    If I believe in eating healthy, I can’t get mad at the companies that produce health food simply because they also produce artery-clogging garbage for a different product line. You might say “Well, your food choices don’t affect others” to which I would reply that poor food choices typically affect entire families, not even counting the social costs of health care down the road due to poor eating. Essentially, the choice has to come down to the buyers and I don’t think Toyota has done anything even immoral here–they still, in fact, have a huge array of vehicles with excellent mileage.

    By the way, where the heck is the Diesel V6 or hybrid version for this thing? I’m sure they’ll bring us a Diesel or hybrid in a year or two, but chances are it will be a model with gas-comparable mpg. I think they blew a great opportunity to launch it with an alternative powertrain, thus keeping their green image partially intact.

  • avatar
    Cowbell

    Phil and Ash,
    I think you’re missing the point of the article. I believe Frank is pointing out a level of hypocrisy, not a bad environmental track record.

    Take the analogy of health food and junk food. It would be like McDonalds advertising that they are a healthy company and care about the health of their customers because they serve salads. Of course it’s someone’s choice what they eat, but the hypocrisy of that image the company is trying to create is open to critique.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    Calling a vehicle introduced in February *2007* an ’07? For shame! Gimme a break

    The way we’re going, we’ll be introducing 2010 models in December 2008. We’ll just skip a model year like the Cayenne, but for a different reason.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    If this was an American car company you all would be panning it. “Typical American auto giant” killing the planet type of thing. But because it is Toyota you are all comming to thier defense.
    The truth is this is a business andsome of the things that we buy are not environmentally friendly. There is simply no way at this point to make a fuel efficient HD pickup that can do the things that we use our trucks for. BTW the two companies working the hardest to fix this issue are both American. Gm is going the hybrid route and Ford is going clean diesel.
    Also do not expect Toyota to sell a whole lot of these trucks, they do not make good HD suspensions and frames. We’ll see…

  • avatar
    ash78

    Cowbell
    I gathered as much, but I can’t think of ANY corporations that aren’t hypocritical if you take each of their market-specific message as a whole pie. EVERYONE panders and caters to a degree, so I don’t see how this is really any different.

    McD’s often exclusively pitches their healthier alternatives…doesn’t mean they’re obligated to remind us that most of the menu is crap! :D

  • avatar

    jurisb:
    here in latvia we can buy so many american items- chewing gum, shawing foam, shampoos. but when it deals with manufacutring precision and precision moulded parts, there are zero american manufacturers here. japanese , koreans galore. that is why none of countries really condemn japan, because they have deserved their superpower status by hi-tech manufacturing. you can`t be superpower by making billions of snickers, movies or ziplock bags.

    Yup, we’ve built the worlds largest economy on chewing gum and shampoo.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    If I believe in eating healthy, I can’t get mad at the companies that produce health food simply because they also produce artery-clogging garbage for a different product line. You might say “Well, your food choices don’t affect others” to which I would reply that poor food choices typically affect entire families, not even counting the social costs of health care down the road due to poor eating. Essentially, the choice has to come down to the buyers and I don’t think Toyota has done anything even immoral here–they still, in fact, have a huge array of vehicles with excellent mileage.

    True, but you can’t mark a company that sells whole foods as bastion of healthy living if that same factory is churning out pre-processed junk food.

    The same has to apply to Toyota. They can’t claim to be making the world a greener place when they have a bigger SUV lineup than the big 2.5.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    After seeing the Tundra at the auto show, I have a feeling they won’t be selling enough of them to make a serious dent in their CAFE numbers. I can’t imagine the frame being stiff enough to provide competetive driving dynamics or more importantly durability. Failing on the quality/reliability end with this vehicle would do more to tarnish Toyota’s rep and this vehicle’s future than its enviro-unfriendliness.

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    Toyota has done a great job generating good PR regarding their environmental stance. The general public regards Toyota as the leaders in fuel efficent, clean vehicles, all while having no less than (now) 6 vehicles that average mpg are in the teens.

    Honda should be the one’s getting all this positive PR. They are the actual leaders in fuel economy and corporate responsibility.
    They don’t even offer a V8 in their entire line-up!!
    When they entered the pick-up market, they went for a certain niche, and hit it out of the park. If I was in the market for a pick-up, the Ridgeline would be tops on my list.

  • avatar

    Some companies keep assigning new intros the current model year until fall. VW, Kia, and Volvo are especially likely to do this. So it’s hardly rare.

    The Tundra actually feels significantly larger than the GM and Ford trucks when you’re sitting in it. I felt like a child in daddy’s truck when the driver’s seat behind the massive instrument panel.

    Real-world fuel economy for many vehicles here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/fuel_economy.php

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    They can’t claim to be making the world a greener place when they have a bigger SUV lineup than the big 2.5.

    Count again, both # of models and vehicles sold. Just one example – GM sells more GMT900 SUV’s in a month than Toyota sells Sequoias in a year.

    Speaking of big pickups and SUV’s -Toyota’s obviously pandering to an American need/want, that is by comparison minimal in the rest of the world. Does Toyota’s marketing department look just as Janus-y in other countries and regions, such as the EU?

  • avatar
    noley

    Corporate hypocrisy. Gee. What a surprise.

    Toyota carefully nurtures a variety of illusions about its brand identity. One is the eco-friendly bit, the others are reliability and longevity.

    This from a company that has recalled about a million cars worldwide–over 800K in the US alone–in 2006.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Count again, both # of models and vehicles sold. Just one example – GM sells more GMT900 SUV’s in a month than Toyota sells Sequoias in a year.

    The keyword was lineup.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Good article Frank. We have discussed this very issue on other forums as the hypocrisy is rather blatant.

    Do we blame Toyota? Hell no, they are just running a successful business. I’m not sure there is any blame to be given here, but if there is, it is to gullible media and the public for believing the marketing BS. A lot of people buy useless diet pills too.

    Does the Prius get good mileage? Of course. Is Toyota green? No more than any other automaker.

    In reality, driving a Prius has the same advantages as smoking light cigarettes.

  • avatar

    Some companies keep assigning new intros the current model year until fall. VW, Kia, and Volvo are especially likely to do this. So it’s hardly rare.

    Not rare, but not commonplace either based on new model introductions in the past few years. Most manufactures want to get the next year’s designation for new models introduced midyear (based on the traditional October – September model year cycle) so they can claim to have the newest thing on the market. It also saves on having to reprint promo materials for a new model year just a few months after bringing the new model to the market as the previous year’s model. Toyota is bucking this trend to get to advertise the higher mileage ratings the ’07s will have vs. the ’08s.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    The keyword was lineup.

    Toyota = 6, Lexus = 3
    Dodge = 2, Chrysler = 2, Jeep = 6
    Ford = 6, Mercury = 2, Lincoln = 2

  • avatar
    ash78

    Boy, I wonder if Toyota will have to discount these pseudo-07 models since they really should have been ’08 models and will be treated by the used market as true 2007 models. Buyer gets bonus depreciation for free!

    Probably about as much as VW discounts its “2006” tdi models sold through 2007 ;)

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    They are also marketing the soon-to-be-obsolete 06 Tundra without emphasizing that it is the 06. They are touting the much better fuel economy [over Chevy and Ford] in local ads here. I suspect they hope that message to carry over to the 07.

  • avatar
    Seth

    Folks are just jealous about Toyota’s success.

  • avatar
    audimination

    jurisb:
    January 18th, 2007 at 9:11 am

    they improve fit and finish, material texture, and don`t do rebadging.

    Really? They don’t do rebadging? Funny, I could’ve sworn that Lexus SUV looks EXACTLY like the Toyota Land Cruiser. Hmmmm, if they don’t do rebadging, then I’m stumped…

  • avatar
    buzzliteyear

    Just a quick note…

    My understanding is that so long a vehicle is manufactured on Jan 1 of the calendar year, the manufacturer can designate the model year to be the same as the calendar year.

    Thus, so long as Tundra production spans Jan 1 2007, they can designate them as 2007 models.

    Similarly, if GM starts production of its new pickups on Jan 2 2007 and continues until Jan 1 2008, those can be called 2008 models.

  • avatar
    dwford

    As with any interest group, the greenies need to pick a target to focus their propaganda on. To get through the media clutter and the average citizen’s disinterest, they have to simplify their message, even at the risk of accuracy. So they set up a Toyota=good, Big3=bad dynamic in their rhetoric to tell their story.

    That they are suddenly surprised by Toyota’s gas guzzling models either shows their ignorance or their disregard for the truth. If they now see the light and will be equally indignant at both domestic and foreign makes, I guess that’s a good thing.

    Regardless, what the greenies fail to realize is that many people actually NEED vehicles this size. I agree that soccer mom’s ferrying kids to the mall in a Hummer is unnecessary and wasteful, but many businesses need the capability and so do many Americans to tow campers, horse trailers etc. And they continue to buy despite gas prices because of that need.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    “… hypocrisy …”

    Is Toyota “really” green? Who cares? For me, it’s not whether or not Toyota is “green” or has a “green image,” it’s whether or not they help me to be green (or greener). Where do I go to get a reliable, economical 40mpg car?

    Do I go to GM? Ummm, no. At Toyota, I can choose from the Yaris, Corolla or Prius.

    If people really want to discuss hypocrisy, let’s talk about the hypocrisy of a company touting itself as a green company because they make E85-capable vehicles but which they know will never use a drop of E85. Or building concept car after concept car that look sooo green but never seem to hit the streets. Or handing the keys to a prototype “hybrid” over to an auto magazine for testing – except it’s a regular V8 gasser.

  • avatar
    SuperAROD

    I hope this is indicative of future trends in American Automotive media and opinion. Toyota has gotten a free pass for a long time, their cars are worshipped as if they were made of gold, I’ve always stated that their stuff is overrated, simply because they have a Toyota badge on them. They make as many gas guzzlers as the supposedly “backwards” Americans with their Tundras, Land Cruisers, Sequioias, and FJ Cruisers.

  • avatar
    audimination

    KixStart:
    January 18th, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Do I go to GM? Ummm, no. At Toyota, I can choose from the Yaris, Corolla or Prius.

    Once again, this is where the Toyota “myth” of being green hits home. People like KixStart who make a claim like this do it without researching the facts, because they just believe Toyota’s claims. Of the three Toyora brands you mentioned, only the Prius get 40MPG or more in real-world fuel economy ratings. Neither the Corolla NOR the Yaris get 40MPG in ANY type of driving (whether it be city driving, suburb driving, etc.)

    I think one of the most blatant (to me) cases of this blind acceptance of anything Toyota and blind rejection of anything American is in the comparisons of the Pontiac Vibe and the Toyota Matrix. These two cars were developed together by GM and Toyota, and are essentially the same exact car with different badges. Yet, somehow, the Matrix consistently beat out the Vibe in juts about every comparison, whether it be from car magazines or from Consumer Reports etc. People just turn a blind eye to the problems that Toyotas have, most of the time blaming themselves if something goes wrong with their Toyota. But they go fishing for problems in Yank cars, with the most recurring thought being “of course it’s broken, I should only have expected it…”

  • avatar
    mikey

    Great piece Frank.No wonder TOYOTA shuns the number 1
    spot
    Maybe Toyota can produce a greener car but when it comes to making money, you can’t beat a line of big trucks/suvs.
    Truck to Truck the TUNDRA doesn’t compare to the 2.5s line up.
    If your gonna swallow 16mpg and enviroment concerns,for whatever your needs may be.IMHO buy yourself a real truck.

  • avatar
    Glenn A.

    Wow, lots of comments and anger here today!

    Toyota’s a business, and a very successful one. I actually don’t see hypocrisy, I agree with KixStart on this one.

    Sure, Honda as a greener ‘image’ and yeah, if I ever wanted a pickup truck, I’d ignore the on-frame stuff and get a Honda, though I’d prefer a hybrid variant if they ever did one (ok Honda, where is it?!)

    For that matter, Toyota did drop the ball in not having a hybrid variant of the new Tundra right away. And a diesel for those diesel-philes out there.

    They have the money to do it, so IMHO, they should have done three variations of the same theme. A V8 pickup for those who just want the status quo, a V6 hybrid pickup and a V8 diesel pickup (now that they’ve bought into Isuzu, it isn’t exactly brain-surgery).

    Though of course it would cause GM fans to have a stroke to realize that the Isuzu company makes the diesel V8’s for GM AND Toyota, were it to come about!

  • avatar

    I agree with CarNut and Glen A.: Toyota totally dropped the ball by not introducing some high[er] mileage variants for the Tundra– even if they didn’t sell.

    Toyota’s green image may be nothing more than window dressing. Or it may not be. (Feel free to debate the point here.) But the fact remains that Toyota has a tree hugging brand perception that is incredibly valuable.

    They should have offered an optional green[er] pickup. If it couldn’t tow toffee and alienated the truck guys, so what? Plausible deniability works for brands as well as politicians.

  • avatar
    dmw

    Since this article, and this type of discussion generally, seems to rely on the spectre of Arab control of our energy supply to establish the scene, I think its important to point out an obvious fact. All Persian Gulf states together supply less than 25% of our crude oil. Our good friends Canda supply an amount more than half of that figure and more than Saudi Arabia. See http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/rankings/crudebycountry.htm.

    Would a 25% improvement in overall efficiency be easier to accomplish than keeping the Persian Gulf open for business for ever more?

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    You want to see hypocricy? Check out this Toyota ad placement:

    http://climate.weather.com/blog/9_11396.html?cm_ven=one_deg_blog&cm_ite=one_deg_commentary&from=one_deg_commentary

    Now that’s insidious!

  • avatar
    brokenvw

    “Neither the Corolla NOR the Yaris get 40MPG in ANY type of driving”

    The Yaris gets 40MPG on the HWY and the Corolla gets 41MPG (both in 5-speed trim). Name a GM car that gets those numbers.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Yes indeed RF its window dressing.Now that they have almost the biggest store in town,folks are looking behind the curtain.

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Maybe the Germans, with their diesel technology, will become the new Sierra Club darlings. Or GM with their investment in hydrogen technology. Personally, I would like to see the makers of the Tesla get some serious government funding. While it’s impossible to fault Toyota for being the only automaker to make hybrid vehicles a viable option for everyday transportation, it’s really a novelty more than anything. And the total cost (monetary and environmentally in both production and operation) of a hybrid vehicle having two powertrains has yet to be calculated and compared against the arguable increases in mileage.

  • avatar
    audimination

    dmw:

    the problem is not solvable by reducing our gas usage by 25% (which, by the way, would be almost impossible unless Americans accept that the current manner of living is no longer sustainable). Wether we buy 1 barrel from the Saudis or 10 billion, we are not buying directly from anyone. We are buying from the open market. So no matter who WE buy from, we are buying from the same pot in the end. And the fact is, that pot is getting smaller and smaller, and we need to change some fundamental things about the way we live to prevent some catastrophic event (whether it be war or global warming or whatever) from forcing that change on us…

  • avatar
    audimination

    brokenvw:
    January 18th, 2007 at 11:29 am

    “Neither the Corolla NOR the Yaris get 40MPG in ANY type of driving”

    The Yaris gets 40MPG on the HWY and the Corolla gets 41MPG (both in 5-speed trim). Name a GM car that gets those numbers.

    according to official mileage ratings. Go check out real-world ratings at http://www.truedelta.com/fuel_economy.php

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Yet, somehow, the Matrix consistently beat out the Vibe in juts about every comparison, whether it be from car magazines or from Consumer Reports etc.

    The CR Matrix & Vibe review was years ago, but I recall they got a joint article. Slightly different ratings may have been given but that was due to one vehicle being FWD, the other AWD.

    Just to make things more confusing, the Vibe was exported as the Toyota Voltz and sold poorly in Japan, being withdrawn after 2 years.

  • avatar
    brokenvw

    “according to official mileage ratings. Go check out real-world ratings at http://www.truedelta.com/fuel_economy.php”

    1 Yaris is listed on TrueDelta. That’s one hell of a sample size. (and it gets 38MPG “real world” to boot)

  • avatar

    Excellent article. The Tundra is made to make its occupants seem small to a degree that one really has to experience first-person. I did not believe it until I actually sat in it. It is silly beyond comparison.

    Anyway, the thought within the industry is that for 90% of consumers, the green image of Toyota will be so strong that the Tundra will bounce right off of it.

    Heck, they have gotten away with their inefficient SUVs so far.

    Personally, I see Honda as having taken a more genuine role toward advancing environmental technology than anyone else. They have created some very high technology emissions equipment and they sell very few guzzlers (hence their high CAFE). Note that it is not just having a product line of small vehicles either…Suzuki has all small vehicles too, but they are far less efficient than Honda’s small vehicles.

    Toyota is like Mercedes-Benz to me. They create and sell some great and innovative products, economy-wise (petrol and diesel, respectively). However, this image is made up with their other face. Sure, MB is far worse in overall economy…but you get the idea.

  • avatar
    audimination

    as i said, not 40. and the yaris just came to the states less than a year ago i believe. so how would you have more than 1 listed?

  • avatar
    jaje

    All of the big truck makers make these hypocritical statements. Recall back to the turn of the century and GM and Ford on a big PR blitz about how environmentally friendly they were with Billy Bob Fordton setting goals to have certain mpg or hybrids ready by 2003/2004. Only for GM to quitely shut up and do nothing for 5 years but make big trucks (only when gas shoots up to $3 / gallon do they start DoD technology) and Ford to reneg on everything except buying into Toyota’s hybrid system. So all are guilty of deceiving the public. Egregiously Toyota once purposely mislead people by claiming all the Ganassi/CART championships as their own right after they bought their way into the team – these were all won by another mfgr.

    Ford / GM / Toyota are not benevolent and PR blitz noise pollution into the public’s ears. However how many reviews piddled on the previous generation’s Tundra by calling it small. Well what does someone do with a massive inferiority complex? They buy / build a enormous vehicle to feel superior or a Porsche – right?

  • avatar
    brokenvw

    The fact remains, what GM cars can I purchase that are reliable, inexpensive, and get anywhere near the “real-world” mileage of Toyota econoboxes? If GM can’t meet this basic criteria, they will forever be off my new car purchasing radar.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    Wow, there’s an eye opener. A large corporation being two faced…

    Toyota (like ANY other corporation) exists to make money. They are agressively going after all market segments – including the high profit large pickup segment.

    They make green cars for the tree huggers, Nice family friendly SUV’s and vans, large grilled mega monsters for those with excessive testosterone levels, and Scions that are “the bomb” for the kids. Great marketing, isnt it ?

    With the exception of making a good reliable product, I have no more respect or admiration for Toyota than I have for any other mega-corporation.

  • avatar
    BostonTeaParty

    Examples of GM cars that do over 40mpg are the Corsa (ok only sold in europe at the moment but hold onto your hats) the petrol version does 45+mpg and the diesel gets over 60+mpg. The astra which IS coming gets slightly less but is still way up there.

  • avatar
    audimination

    brokenvw:

    I’d preface this by saying I’m not particularly fond of American cars, as I do think they have a lot of quality problems and it often seems like the people who make the cars don’t put as much effort or heart into making it as their German or Japanese counterparts.

    However, some cars you might consider, when looking for high mileage, small cars, are the chevy cobalt, the dodge caliber, VW New Beetle, or the Honda Fit (as non-toyota options). And there must be a Subaru there which has good mileage as well (the outback maybe?), though i’m not sure about that one.

    Of course, the Toyota options offer a good alternative, but they aren’t the only option…

  • avatar
    jaje

    nielberg: I think you are exactly right. It seems the only mfgr that actually follows up its words with real world actions in the case of the environment is Honda. They have the only consumer production fuel cell vehicle approved for sale in the US and next year will be an epiphany for fuel cells (including helping develop the infrastructure and home fuel cell units that can not only fill up your fuel cell car but power the home and sell energy back to the grid). Honda never known for diesels (and was always a major critic) now has an award winning 2.2 turbo diesel in Europe that is clean and has broken most of its records in it’s engine size category. Now they have a diesel NOX catalytic converter that doesn’t require urea refills every 10k miles (by 2008 the Accord will have this new 4 cyl diesel and by 2009 Honda large vehicles will have a v6 diesel).

    Honda only sells 4 cycle motorcycles / watercraft / small engines well ahead of any forced or even voluntary regulations, they have been one of the first cars to win LEV / ULEV / SULEV / PZEV / ZEV status with high production models. Honda just invented a new way to product solar panels at 30% less cost – and are building a plant to produce them. Honda just figured out how to make cloth seats from bio degradable plant material (longevity will be in question). VTEC technology has been around for almost 20 years now and mfgrs are still just implementing it. Honda also just developed their first Jet that gets 30% better fuel economy than any of its competitors who have been in the avaiation business before Honda incorporated.

    Really there’s no other automaker that comes close to the amount of focus or breadth of advanced environmental offerings we see from this company.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Well said, Frank. I’m still a little miffed that Toyota didn’t offer a small-bore Diesel to appease the folks who make it a point to tell others they live green. Everyone else may not care much, but they’d still flock to the diesel for its economy and towing prowess. Its a win-win for everyone.

    Then again, their business model isn’t about trend setting (except Scion) , its more about benchmarking.

    And finally, nobody’s mentioned how ugly this truck is (in pictures) and how that won’t fly well in the face of truck buyers who use their rigs as a styling statement, not to haul manure.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    i think the tundra is nothing more then a exersice in muscle flexing. its to help Toyota PR in the US. Do you really think the alst tunder was smaller then the rest on accident? Toyota didnt really care about trucks. They didnt care about NASCAR either. but now we have a Full size truck and NASCARs with Camary on the back of them. its all to help with the US image to sell more Cars.

    unlike the big 2.5, toyota is not relying on the Tundra for survival. (im looking at you GMT90324972347 trucks and SUVs) they will just discount it for 3 or 4 years, break even and retool the factory for something else. if it flops will they even feel the pinch? (how many do they want to sell)

  • avatar
    KixStart

    “… real-world 40mpg …”

    Since I don’t have the opportunity to take every car I might consider for a 1K mile test drive and find out what sort of fuel economy that it gets the way I will drive it, I use the EPA ratings as a relative guide. Higher EPA estimates will ordinarily give you higher real world fuel economy. Toyota has at least three cars with EPA stickers of 40+ highway.

    I also check other sources, too.

    At least two reviewers on Edmunds say their Yaris has given them >40mpg.

    The Corolla is EPA rated for 41mppg highway. The first review that popped up on Edmunds reports “40 mpg overall avg with 25%city/75% hwy after 2000 miles.”

    This isn’t about Toyota’s reputation as a green company, this is about Toyota’s ability to deliver a car with the fuel economy I seek. Less fuel in => Less CO2 out.

    Would I prefer it if Toyota built a pickup with stunning fuel economy? Sure. But I can’t fault them for making money.

    They’ll probably make a lot of money on this truck, too. I notice the naysayers have been piling on about whether or not it will sell. I wouldn’t bet against it selling well.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    my xB returns 31mpg on average.(my record is 36mpg) and its bigger, heavier and is very similar to driving with a piece of plywood strapped to the front of your car. also the yaris has taller gearing in it for better highway MPG…i have no doubt 40mpg is possible.

    They also did some little tricks like not running the AC directly off of the engine

  • avatar
    Gotta Chime In

    Most TTAC articles are well written with a main topic point backed up by data. This article lacks the latter, substituting opinions and circumstantial evidence to drive home the point that Toyota is two faced for being green while building a (supposed) gas guzzler. My chagrin: no data provided to back up the second half of this claim. Is it not available? If so, say so but I have to believe there are estimates comparing the 2006 and previous models to the 2007 build.

    Signed – Missouri Native

  • avatar
    wludavid

    I’m late to this party, but it’s important to remember that efficiency is not found only at the gas pump. FWIW, I’ve heard that one-third of all energy used by a vehicle goes into its production.

    So even a vehicle that gets a few miles per gallon fewer than another car might actually be more energy efficient if:

    1. Manufacturing processes are more efficient
    2. The vehicle lasts longer (energy is required for production and disposal)
    3. It requires less maintenance (parts and shop time cost energy too)

    My point is that you have to look at the bigger picture to see which vehicle best suits your needs and is most energy (not just fuel) efficient.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    I’ve seen reports of that Honda 2.2L diesel. They achieved 90mpg with it in Europe. Even if that’s Imperial gallons, that’s still amazing. The Accord with that engine goes right on the short list.

    Toyota will probably respond with their own high-mpg diesel or maybe a hybrid with on-board generation augmented by plug-in capability.

    GM will respond with another round of prototypes, perhaps featuring “cold fusion reactors” that they project will go about 174,00,000 miles on a few ounces of beer. When they unveil the prototype, we’ll know it’s for real because samples of the beer will be available.

  • avatar

    This article lacks the latter, substituting opinions and circumstantial evidence to drive home the point that Toyota is two faced for being green while building a (supposed) gas guzzler. My chagrin: no data provided to back up the second half of this claim. Here are the EPA numbers for the '06 and '07 Tundra: 2006 6 cyl – 18/22 8 cyl – 16/19 2007 6 cyl – 17/20 8 cyl – 15/18 While these are within the current CAFE standards, they certainly don't support Toyota's PR-enhanced image as a purveyor of fuel efficient vehicles.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    i liked the image of the two faced god. here in the city, toyota is often sainted, even as humongous sequoyas go by. But they do offer high milage hybrids and other high milage cars, so they are forgiven, as you noted.

    Since the big 2.5 are already in the doghouse, i suppose it comes as no suprise to me that they are regualrly dissed about this. As a matter of fact, they have few high milage cars between them.

    HOWEVER, i drive alot around here, i rarely see any large toyotas, i saw a FV today, the first one, rarely anything larger than a hylander. There are 2.5 SUV’s all over the place, also bling-o-matic 2.5 pickups and HUGE SUV’s. So, all things being equal, toyotas image as a high milage producer seems to safe, at least around here.

    Interestng that some of the green groups have taken note. Hmmm.

    Also, comparing a prius to a light cigarette is pretty unfair. Unless you have the luxury of a workplace near your home, you NEED a car. Some people I know have no cars because of this. Most people, regardless of how they feel about conservation, and middle east oil, will have to get transportation froem somewhere. So the question becomes, what kind of car? Therein lies the truth.

    No one really needs a cigarette. I used to, now i dont. Not the same.

  • avatar
    acx

    +1 for any environmental light footedness certainly in the last few years has been a facade.

    I see mention of EPA ratings dropping 8-12%, with hybrids evidently set to drop more like 30%.

    Much of Toyota’s increased units came from the then new FJ cruiser, the IS350, the Rav4. No real darlings in terms of efficiency. One could argue a base Rav4 is somewhat green, but even then, not compared to a corolla.

    Are they any worse than anyone else? No, but of course they are no better.

    Refreshing read.

  • avatar
    Rakinyo1

    This country has not extended Toyota a free pass. Most of this country has been relentless in dogging the car company as the enemy. They have not had it easy as the minority car company. Now they are poised to be number one in the globe…domestic supporters want to wine about a wet diaper.
    ToMoCo is not stupid. I’m sure they will have the same tundra in a hybrid in the next year or two; getting 30mpg. Problem solved.

    Get over your wining its not competition if you don’t have a worthy opponent. I get the feeling most of the die hard Ford and GM lovers would rather compete with Helen Keller on the track than Oren Ishi.

    ToMoCo has researched,planned,concluded and executed. As soon as the Domestics get off the diaper changing station I’m sure they will be a force to be reckoned with. After their midday nap.

  • avatar
    Gotta Chime In

    Frank – Thanks for the numbers. Though I was expecting a bigger drop off with the new model. I know revised EPA estimates will drag these down further but that will be the same for all manufacturers, correct? Assuming yes, we won’t know the true impact until we get the 2008 estimates on equivalent model year vehicles as 2007 builds and do 1-to-1 comparisons across the board. If everyone’s numbers are impacted the same, the 8-12% mileage reduction applies across the board, not Toyota-specific (implied but not explicitly stated, to your credit).

    To the point – Toyota wants to launch their new truck on the same EPA estimate playing field as its benchmark competitors. Hard to argue that as poor strategy no matter what color company you are.

  • avatar

    brokenvw:

    From the sounds of it, GM is off your purchasing radar no matter what they produce.

  • avatar
    brokenvw

    Can GM provide a safe, economical, and high quality small car that provides comparable gas mileage to econoboxes from T and H? If so, please name them.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    KixStart:

    GM will respond with another round of prototypes, perhaps featuring “cold fusion reactors” that they project will go about 174,00,000 miles on a few ounces of beer. When they unveil the prototype, we’ll know it’s for real because samples of the beer will be available.

    almost fell off my chair laughing!

  • avatar

    Just as a reference point, here are the EPA estimates for 2007 full sized pickups. All are for the 2WD standard cab model with automatic transmission, and the V8 mileage given is for the size closest to the 4.7L V8 in the Tundra. Tundra 6 cyl – 17/20 8 cyl – 15/18 Silverado 6 cyl – 16/19 8 cyl – 15/19 F-150 6 cyl – 16/20 8 cyl – 15/20 Ram 6 cyl – 16/21 8 cyl – 14/19 Titan 6 cyl engine not available 8 cyl – 14/18

  • avatar
    tms1999

    Yes, manufacturers will (ideally) build just as many cars and trucks that people are willing to buy. You want a gas-guzzler? You can have it.

    I’m kind of a greenie, but not a short sighted one. Those green organizations know little about economy (apparently). Just having Toyota offer a decent contender in the pickup truck market does not mean that more pickups will be sold, it means that the distribution of sales among competitors will shift (duh!)

    Why you would blame the manufacturers in the first place is difficult to understand. To use a (tired) image, you don’t blame firearms manufacturers for the crimerate of your neighborhood (though that has been tried too)

    Call me cynical, but whoever thought Toyota was out there to protect the environment and did not see through the marketing message is a tool.

  • avatar
    acx

    Rakinyo1

    we’ll see if an open c channel rear frame and an interior that is 15 years old already equates to 1337 competition like orenishi :tard: for Toyota.

    We order as a division 100+ trucks a year, my company buys sevral thousand a year. None will be the Tundra this year.

    In terms of stacking up gas mileage with other domestic trucks, I believe the point is that Toyota isn’t exactly kermit the frog for being green, not that they are WORSE than the domestics.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    I’m dissapointed in Toyota, because the new Tundra is so “copy-cat”. They could have taken a major risk, like the Prius, and build a “euro” style pickup that gets (real world) 20 mpg plus. Think Sprinter, with a pickup bed. In Europe, the Sprinter pickup can haul up to 6,000 lbs payload, and the new 200+hp V6 CDI diesel is now available.

    Green Building practices are rapidly growing in the construction/contracting industry, even in places like Texas (W’s ranch house is “green”). What better way for a contractor to show his green credentials by driving a “green” pickup?

    Sprinters (vans only in US) are essentially always sold out; no rebates necessary. DCX should get smart and switch over their (vulnerable) Ram line to Sprinters across the board.

    Toyota took the wrong kind of risk by bringing out a “milk-toast” Tundra.

  • avatar
    Michael R.

    First, we should take the Miller Brewing Company to task for portraying itself as producer of beverages that both “taste great” and are “less filling.”

    Seriously, I’m not sure I understand the hypocrisy implied here. Toyota manufactures some vehicles that are fuel efficient and some that are far less so. These vehicles are effectively marketed to a target demographic’s desires: a Prius makes you more green, a Tundra makes you tough. It’s only marketing.

    Toyota should still be applauded for offering some appealing fuel efficient vehicles and making some efforts to reduce the consumption of resources by their factories.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Let’s assume for a second that current products finance R&D and future products because, well, they do. At least in profitable companies like Toyota.

    So is it any consolation that Toyota will undoubtedly use part of its profit from gas-guzzlers to fund the development of some of the most efficient and clean vehicles the world has ever seen? These are no doubt coming, and chances are they’re coming from Toyota at the forefront. I suppose I wish they would play up that angle…the legislation and customer choice will drive toward cleaner cars in the long run, so you’ve got to finance that somehow.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Gotta Chime In,

    I mean… it is a 5,000lbs. (or more) monster with a 350 V8, ladder on frame and the aerodynamics of Forrest Whitaker.

    The mileage is going to be dismal.

  • avatar
    miked

    Frank – you beat me to it, I was just finishing writing down all the EPA numbers for all the different makes.

    I don’t see why everyone is up in arms about Toyota’s milage. All the full size trucks get the about same EPA ratings which for comparison purposes means that they’ll all get about the same real-world milage too.

    At least with Toyota I have a whole range of options from a 40+MPG econobox to a 1/2 ton truck.

  • avatar
    Glenn A.

    OK here’s a link to the British Toyota magazine just forwarded to me by my brother-in-law in Birmingham (England! Not Alabama!) NO Not England, Arkansas… oh never mind! Just go have some fun reading.

    Certainly seems the Brits see Toyota through green coloured glasses. Or that’s how Toyota want to be seen, obviously.

    http://www.toyota.co.uk/PRM/oneday_2007_Q1/?email_link=Oneday_Online_More

  • avatar
    ash78

    Interesting, Glenn.

    I remember reading a British popular opinion survey about a year ago, and about 70% of respondents didn’t understand what a hybrid was supposed to be (I think “two vehicles welded together” was the most common answer, no kidding). Anecdotally, from forums and whatnot, I don’t think they have quite the green image over there that they try to foster here…due in part to Euro4+ regulations’ focus on CO2 reduction, the hybrids don’t seem that appealing next to the myriad of small petrol and diesel engines already out there.

  • avatar

    It just seems a bit incongruous to see a commercial like this from a company selling vehicles that get the fuel mileage their trucks get – and that just built a new plant so they can build even more of them!

  • avatar
    audimination

    Frank:

    You hit the nail right on the head with that last post. The problem, once again, that many seem to overlook, is not that the Tundra gets worse mileage than the Silverado or the F-150, because it doesn’t. The problem is, that Toyota is giving off an image of being clean/non-polluting/green all the while making the Tundra and creating factories everywhere to expand capacity for the Tundra.

    I think all this article is saying is that Toyota is displaying hipocrisy for doing what I just described. If you think they’re doing it for business, or becuase they’re evil, or because they want to take over the world, or whatever, that’s irrelevant. The simple fact is that their actions go against their words, and that is the basic definitions of hipocrisy…

  • avatar
    GMrefugee

    brokenvw et al,

    For a GM vehicle that gets better than 40 MPG, try on the Geo Metro. Sure, GM no longer sells them but they would if more folks had bought them. Toyota is showing us all how “green” they are by making the Tundra more fuel efficient than any other full size pickup truck. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

  • avatar
    miked

    Frank and audimination – If making trucks while saying you’re green is hypocritical then what do you say about these commecrials:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSm2WeJ4ZRE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCRr2dH3YC0

    I was surprised that these were the only two GM E85 commericals I could find on youtube, I know I’ve seen more

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    I drive a 1990 Toyota 4Runner–mechanically it has no problems, but it is rusting away (road salt.

    A coworker has a 2006 Trailblazer that has been to the dealer SEVENTEEN times for electrical gremlins.

    I might get 19mpg, but that Trailblazer is 4500lbs of natural resources about to get scrapped. Who’s impacting the environment how?

    Also, if Toyota is unrelaible because of their recalls, what is a guy to do? Mercedes has quality problems because they are just an arm of the DCX monstrosity, Audi and VW are electrical nightmares, GM sucks, Ford is Mexican-built crap, Volvo is just a ford, Jaguar is laughable, Hyundai is knock off pseudo-luxury with undersized brakes, BMW makes you pay for maintenance up front, Mazda is a zoom-zoom image queen Ford, Nissan is second tier Francojapanese crap, Porsche is for compensators, blah blah blah…all cars are trash!

    The fact that the Japanese are building a 350 just tickles me to death. If it can haul a ton of bricks, last like my 4Runner, outrun my GTI (in a straight line), and sound like my dad’s old GTO, then sign me the F up.

  • avatar

    If making trucks while saying you’re green is hypocritical then what do you say about these commecrials:

    I’d say there’s nothing hypocritical in them. The GM trucks do run on E85 (if you can find it) and do produce fewer emissions when burning it. The only thing wrong is that they try to make it sound like E85 is easy and cheap to produce, and there are fields of corn out there just waiting to be turned into fuel for your Suburban.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Examples of GM cars that do over 40mpg are the Corsa (ok only sold in europe at the moment but hold onto your hats) the petrol version does 45+mpg and the diesel gets over 60+mpg. The astra which IS coming gets slightly less but is still way up there.

    Those mpg figures are based upon Imperial gallons, which are about 20% larger than US gallons. You need to reduce UK mileage figures by about 17% in order to make a cross-comparison.

    Also, cars such as the Corsa with a 1.0 liter gas engine or a 1.3 liter diesel would not be popular in the US, which is why they are not sold here. Even the humblest of US econobox drivers do not want a car that needs 17 seconds to hit 60 mph.

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    Can we knock off the Ford Bought Toyota Hybrid Technology thing yet?!?! Ford developed its own hybrid system and once work was near completion, reviewed Toyota’s system against thier own as a benchmark.

    Realizing that their system had a few similarities to some of the items that Toyota had patented, Ford cut a deal with Toyota whereby they would not be subject to patent infringements in exchange for use of some Ford engine patents that Toyota found useful.

    I’m very tired of people forming their own opinions about the work the good people at Ford have done without taking 5 minutes to research.

  • avatar
    dougw

    As far as I remember, when I look at new trucks, none of them posts EPA figures on the window sticker. I don’t think they are required to. Tahoe, Expedition: yes. Trucks: exempt.

    Yes the numbers do go into fleet average calculations, but they don’t get seen by the public. Check the brochures and websites…no EPA numbers there either.

    Therefore, the implied sinister plot to call it an ’07 instead of an ’08 can only be true for fleet averages, but it would have no effect on shoppers. Maybe this changes for ’08, but go look at a new truck window sticker….

  • avatar
    Luther

    I can see it now: “Clean air for oxygen breathers courtesy of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and carbon dioxide for plant life by the Toyota Tundra. We have the ecosystem covered!”

    Brilliant Frank. Maybe Toyota should not only market to the hard-working laborer but also have dancing/smiling shrubs in their idiot-box Tundra commercials as well. Maybe in their Prius commercials they can have choking/gasping/suffocating shrubs crawling along on the ground with hard-working laborer/Tundra types coming to their rescue with sledgehammers. Talk about Green PR.

    CO2 makes plants green/live so therefore a Tundra is more “green” than a Prius. I doubt you can get a math/physics/chemistry/thermaldynamics/biological life-challenged person (aka Monty Python character-esque “environmentalist”) to recognize this though.

  • avatar
    Glenn A.

    When I was in the UK on ‘holiday’ 18 months ago, I only saw 4 Prius (Prii?) and not one single Honda hybrid.

    To say I was shocked would be an understatement, since diesel fuel costs more than ‘petrol’ there and the MPG of the Prius is significantly higher than virtually everything else on the road, even better than the SMART diesel 2-seater.

    I think the price of gas shot up to about $9 per US gallon equivalent in the UK when we were paying $3.25.

    Still, very few Prius cars in the UK.

    So, ash78, I can certainly see why your comments about most Brits thinking “hybrid – huh? two cars welded?” have to be hitting the nail right on the head.

    Obviously Toyota have done a far better job of educating (or brainwashing, depending upon your viewpoint) the American public than the British public.

  • avatar
    mikey

    E85 fueled vehicles while not perfect,are a step in the right direction.
    I’ll betcha the corn farmers arn’t driving hybrids

  • avatar

    greenb1ood: Can we knock off the Ford Bought Toyota Hybrid Technology thing yet?!?! Ford developed its own hybrid system and once work was near completion, reviewed Toyota’s system against thier own as a benchmark.

    From Wikipedia (among other sources): The Escape Hybrid uses technology similar to that used in Toyota’s Prius, which led Ford to license a number of Toyota patents to avoid any legal disputes.

    So like I said, Toyota’s shares their hybrid technology – for a price. That’s called “licensing.” And Ford is one of the which have licensed some of Toyota’s hybrid patents.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Toyota and Honda in the past have at least put some $$ into alternatives which until recently has been less than others. I’d be happy that a lot of people would buy a Yaris or a hybrid etc and save some gas. That means they can put that extra cash back into the economy in other areas. Just like I’m happy that some people volunteer at soup kitchens and so forth. It something that should be done but I know I won’t do it. Like my lunch today, could have gotten a salad but went to McD instead.

    I don’t purchase a car as I would a dishwasher or coffee maker. All I care about in my dishwasher or coffee maker is that it does its job and doesn’t give me any problems. Put the dishes in, wash them and they come out clean, no spots, no leaks on my kitchen floor etc. For a large segment of the car purchasing public that is what they want in a car, a 4 wheel appliance, point A to B, no muss no fuss and Toyota does a great job in catering to that demographic. When you are gunning for #1 you must be all things to all people or at least as many as you can.

    A car for some (definitely speaking for myself) is an extension of your personality. It’s like the clothes you wear, your grooming, how you speak. It is a window into the individual and gives people a glimpse into who you are and what you value. That is why JL and RF say the Prius sells so well and I agree with them it displays to the world a small portion of what you value, like a tattoo.. Would I like to have a car that gets 60mpg? Sure. As soon as they can make one that handles like an RX8, M3 or Porsche Cayman for a reasonable price I’ll buy one. Until then I’ll pay to play.

  • avatar
    audimination

    “A car for some (definitely speaking for myself) is an extension of your personality.”

    That is one of the most spot-on comments I’ve seen on a car blog in a long time…

  • avatar
    ash78

    Absolutely. I’ve always described cars as one-third transportation, one-third hobby, and one-third artwork ;)

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    I can’t see the point of the new Tundra, from any sort of marketing standpoint. But then, I don’t use a truck for work and maybe if I did, the idea of a bigger truck might appeal to me. Most mornings, I go to the sole Winchell’s Donut (sic) House left in Seattle, not only because that’s where I went when last a student, but also to study the contractors who come in. Hardly any of them drive anything less than a half-ton and most drive a 3/4 ton truck. (The duallys are usually driven by people outside of the city.) You can see that some of these guys – and they are almost always guys – have the big steel work boxes in the bed, ladder racks and other accessories. So these people are not poseurs. They are whom Toyota wants to sell to. Does that make Toyota Corporation hypocritical? Individuals can be hypocritical; and while corporations are nothing more than a collection of individuals, to say a corporation is hypocritical, to my mind, is almost akin to saying that a government is hypocritical. Both corporations and governments take on a life of their own, separate from the individuals who created them and work within them. That’s why both have to be constantly scanned with a jaundiced eye. Admittedly, Toyota Inc. has been flogging the hybrid thing big time. But as far as being a “green” company, it was Honda who said, almost 10 years ago, “We are withdrawing from F1 to focus on alternative technology.” Right now, Toyota has several teams preparing Camries for competition in the Daytona 500. How green is that? (That’s a rhetorical question.) Toyota wants to be Number 1 in the world by selling something to everybody, whether a contractor who lives on doughnuts or an environmentalist who eats no trans fats. I think of Toyota like the Borgs, in one of the last generation of “Star Trek” shows: resistance is futile.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Toyota = 6, Lexus = 3
    Dodge = 2, Chrysler = 2, Jeep = 6
    Ford = 6, Mercury = 2, Lincoln = 2

    An application of Occam’s razor would have to apply here. Dodge and Ford are quite liberal when it comes to badge engineering, so we can eliminate the redundant models. If we do that, We leave Dodge alone, we cut Chrysler down to one (if you don’t count their crossovers, then they have none), and we can cut jeep down to three.
    DCX = 5 (6 if you count the Pacifica)

    Ford can be left alone, and since whatever Lincoln and Mercury has is a badge engineered Explorer, Expidition, or Escape, they can be completely taken out. I don’t know where you get the six from, but a quick check on their website only shows three SUV’s.
    FoMoCo = 3 (5 if you include the Edge and Freestyle crossovers)

    I’ll be fair and apply the same principle to Lexus, since the GX and LX line are the new and ols versions of the Land Cruiser, and since those are rebadgings, Lexus gets chopped down to one.
    ToMoCo = 7

    To be honest, I find it laughable that there is an abundance of Toyota apologists who defend the same thing they criticize Ford for doing.

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    “According to an FFOC statement, the group’s launching a new campaign designed to ensure that “auto makers are taking the interim steps needed to show that they are truly committed to fuel economy and not just good PR.” ”

    Like their actions are anything more than PR, as well. If these environmental groups truly wanted change, they would put their money where their mouth is, instead of insisting that everybody else protect the environment for them as they define protecting the environment. For instance, instead of lobbying the government to protect the forests from the evil logging companies, why not buy the land and use it as the group sees fit, and some environmental orginizations do just that to varying degrees. However, most of the money is spent on litigation and lobbying to force people into their ideas of environmental preservation.

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    Frank,
    I was more commenting on posts such as the following:
    jaje:
    January 18th, 2007 at 11:45 am

    However, there is a fine line distinction between licensing technology because you yourself have a blank sheet of paper, and licensing technology “to avoid any legal disputes” (quoted from wikipedia) on technology that you have developed the ended up similar to an exisiting technology.

    I’m annoyed with the public perception that Ford bought Toyota technology because they didn’t have any of their own ideas. It really belittles that amount of work that Ford R&D put into developing a system that rivaled that of the industry’s leader.

    Guys like this…

  • avatar
    greenb1ood
  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    http://podcasts.autoblog.com/2006/05/19/ford-engineer-earns-kudos-for-hybrid-work/

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    To be honest, I find it laughable that there is an abundance of Toyota apologists who defend the same thing they criticize GM for doing.

    I was counting SUV/crossover nameplates on Toyota, DCX, and Ford web sites. How is that critique of GM?

  • avatar
    BostonTeaParty

    As for the comments about Brits and hybrids, well depends where they did the survey. Like in America there are some areas not so clued up on the world in general, let alone leaving school with anything worthwhile. I think there was some British leg pulling going on there.

    As for the Brits that do know about hybrids, the majority are not convinced by them and are waiting and seeing how their technology fairs and also waiting to see how the battery technology copes and if there is any expensive replacements problems, they’re also looking for that technology to get cheaper. Like here people will wait for that huge flat screen to come down in price due to technology advancement/market demands lowering prices considerable the following year. You don’t need the latest fad if it’s going to break the bank unrealistically for you.
    People are also happy with diesel technology as it gets such good mileage, easily comparable with a hybrid when you look at the performance of vehicles such as the PSA groups diesels, so why spend the extra thousands on something you dont really need to to get almost/if not as good as performance. Diesel is not that much more expensive than petrol over there, even smaller engined vehicles get much better perfomance and real world figures than over here.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    I was counting SUV/crossover nameplates on Toyota, DCX, and Ford web sites. How is that critique of GM?

    Amended.

  • avatar
    Tyler D

    In fact, environmental groups are finally facing reality: their automotive eco-darling is (gasp!) nothing more than a business. A business that conforms to all CAFE regulations, of course, but will do whatever it takes to make a profit.

    And that is bad how?

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Not to belittle Ford for the work they did on their hybrid, but given that the Prius first saw the light of day in 1996, and Ford’s system (developed after that date) is so “remarkably” similar, its hard to imagine that the Ford engineers pretended the Prius didn’t exist or “looked the other way” when the they did their work. It’s not a mere coincidence that the two systems are so much alike.

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    I was counting SUV/crossover nameplates on Toyota, DCX, and Ford web sites. How is that critique of GM?

    Amended.

    Whew. ‘Cause counting models from this page is not a good use of anyone’s time:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_GMT_platform

  • avatar
    bfg9k

    jaje:
    January 18th, 2007 at 11:59 am

    nielberg: I think you are exactly right. It seems the only mfgr that actually follows up its words with real world actions in the case of the environment is Honda.

    A while back Newsweek had an interview with the head of Honda America. He said that in order for a product proposal to be greenlighted it needed to be projected to be the most fuel efficient in its class. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be developed. Honda doesn’t have the highest fuel economy by accident.

  • avatar
    BTEFan

    Toyota is in the business to make money. So, they build a pickup truck that is designed to compete in the hottest segment in the North American market. Its just smart business sense. The version that has been introduced initially is the most popular combination of box, body, drivetrain, etc among light duty pickup trucks.
    Given Toyota’s drive to lead in every market segment, I think they will offer some sort of hybrid technology at some point. I think the market will see a diesel of some sort during 2008.

    Toyota has been building diesels for a long long time, just not for our market (unless you count Camry Turbodiesels, Corolla Diesels and Land Crusher and HiLux diesels in the mid 1980s)

    We were in Costa Rica in November where Toyota SUVs and trucks are quite popular (and given the ‘roads’ that you travel on, a neccessity). Most of the Toyotas were sporting a ‘D4-D’ badge on the side, from RAV4 up to 4Runners and HiLux Trucks and Land Cruiser Prados.

    They can have diesels across thier entire car and truck lineup before the Big 3 knew what hit them. Once the low sulfur diesel is in place it will happen. And, I bet they will be able to put an environment spin on clean diesel (and biodiesel) and they will sell every single one they can build.

    We rode in a 2003 Corolla D4-D taxi with 600000km (400000 miles). Still felt solid. And, it had pretty good pickup with 4 on board and luggage. It made me a diesel believer!

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    Well, Toyota is truly the king of marketing. Scion is evidence of that. The truth of the matter is that Toyota became a “green” company through sheer coincidence. Their corollas and camrys sell instead of their tundras. The opposite is true for ford and GM. Yet all these companies offer a full range of vehicles, so consumer tastes could easily have flip flopped their reputations. As mentioned above, Honda is the only mfr that consistly drops smaller engines into their vehicles than the competition because they are a remarkable engine builder.

  • avatar
    RX8guy

    KixStart:

    GM will respond with another round of prototypes, perhaps featuring “cold fusion reactors” that they project will go about 174,00,000 miles on a few ounces of beer. When they unveil the prototype, we’ll know it’s for real because samples of the beer will be available.

    Ummm KixStart, they got one of these, already, called a DeLorean…. (Back to the Future?)

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    SherbornSean:

    I like girls with bleached blond hair showing 2 inches of roots driving cavaliers or sunfires, so who am I to judge? FWIW, you can find them at the donut shop too…

  • avatar
    Joe Chiaramonte

    I’m late to this trash-fest today, and I’m not one to try to defend Toyota. It’s not my favorite car company.

    Grudgingly, they seem to do the best job of producing what consumers want and selling the heck out of it. I can’t fault them for that, and if GM or Ford did a better job of it, there would be no deathwatch.

    Regarding the Tundra, I believe Toyota MUST speak out both sides of its mouth. Its marketing for the Tundra at the outset – if it is to compete with Ford and GM on this front – must be a message of power, strength and durability. That’s why we see the “This is how big most trucks (part x) is. You said you wanted it THIS BIG” campaign. They must prove they’re as tough or tougher than anybody FIRST.

    I agree with previous comments, and I will bet dollars to doughnuts, that Toyota will be first to market with a viable, high-mileage hybrid full-sized pickup. They’ve already got the technology – no brainer. If they’ve already established “tough,” then they establish “tough and will cost you less with each mile,” game over. They’re in the hunt with truck buyers forever, once that happens.

  • avatar
    VeryDemmanding

    How about a Hybird Diesel truck. If it got 30-35 MPG, and started at $32,000 and topped out at $45,000 fully loaded, folks would buy them.

    Rick

    Lansing, MI—Driving a Nissan.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    I didn’t notice the part about Terry checking out the contractors. I got distracted by the word “donut.”

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Frank, you forgot one important detail in your post about fuel economy ratings for the other “similar” vehicle engines by the big 2.5: While the displacement might be similar, you are comparing 2-valve pushrod engines to 4-valve DOCH engines. The max torque might be similar but the max power output of the Toyota is going to be much higher. So, it seems like the Toyota has slightly better mileage rating while giving significantly more engine power.

    As for using the synergy drive system on a truck supposedly designed for hauling, I’m not sure it makes sense. In a small car you want power for very short bursts of acceleration, so you can generally use a tiny gasoline engine (and get better efficiency); in a megga-truck you supposedly want to sustain large power output during hauling, so you’ll still need the huge gasoline engine.

  • avatar
    John Williams

    Paul Niedermeyer:

    People who are looking for a “nice truck” to go hunting in style and those who see trucks as a “lifestyle vehicle” will most likely be turned off by the Sprinter pickup’s styling. I’ve seen the van/truck pickups sold in Asia and Europe — they’re exclusively marketed and bought by people who actually need and use them and no one else. Considering the Ram’s customer base, such a change would probably cost Dodge sales and kick them out of the running for “#1 pickup” for quite a while.

    That, and the brand equity that was built up with the Ram name would be squandered.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    This is a bit outlandish. Hey Frank, so offering a 2007 model in the year *2007* is a bad thing? Gosh, who would’ve thought.

    And Toyota, whether some of you like it or not, is one of the greenest automakers out there (along with Honda). Speaking of propaganda and PR spin, seems like a lot of you are in really deep with the spin from groups such as Rainforest Action Network. So Toyota now is being hypocritical by trying to be a full-line automaker and by trying to offer everything to everyone?

    It’s not hypocritical, it’s called marketing. Toyota, more successfully than most, is marketing to a wide range of age ranges and demographic as well as buyer groups. The Tundra is being marketing with a very specific style and perspective. Tundra marketing has been designed to break through the domestic loyalty that many American pickup buyers have.

    Toyota is marketing it’s hybrids very well. And it’s hybrids are being aimed at a different market than the Tundra.

    As for some of you who say where is the diesel or where is the hybrid, all in due time. Toyota does not want to release everything at once. A diesel is said to be coming within a year or two, and may be accompanied by a heavy duty version of the Tundra. There may also be a hybrid model. Toyota’s main goal right now is to change perception among pickups buyers and convince them that the new Tundra is every bit as good as Ford, GM, or Dodge half-tons, and in some ways better. Once that is done, then they can branch out with Tundra variations.

    Real-world, many Yaris and Corolla owners have achieved 40 mpg. Many Prius owners have achieved over 50 mpg. There is no model from Ford, GM, or Chrysler that offers fuel economy anywhere near 40 mpg. A Cobalt is not a suitable substitute in the public’s eyes. Neither is a Dodge Caliber. The most fuel efficient compacts remain the Corolla, Civic, and now the Yaris and Fit. People do not have any reason to move away from these models.

    As for being “green”, it’s not just about fuel economy. Isn’t being “green” have a lot do with emissions as well? Surely many of you here know that, and have not dismissed emissions. On that note, both the 4.7L V8 and the 5.7L V8 in the Tundra are ULEV-II emissions rated. In fact, *all* Toyota V8 engines currently offered in North America are ULEV-II emissions rated. GM and Dodge could only wish that all of their V8 engines were ULEV-II rated.

    So yes, Toyota is offering big, full-size SUVs and trucks that do not great fuel economy, simply because of their size and weight. In context, GM and Toyota’s trucks and SUVs are typically close together in terms of real world economy. Ford and Chrysler trucks and SUVs fall behind. Equally important is the low emissions of all Toyota V8s.

    And a bit of a correction on Tundra fuel economy; 4×2 models get the following economy:

    4.0L V6: 17/20 EPA
    4.7L V8: 15/18 EPA
    5.7L V8: 16/20 EPA

    The 4×4 models get the following economy:
    4.7L V8: 15/18 EPA
    5.7L V8: 14/18 EPA

    So it seems the 5.7L experiences a drop when moving to the 4×4 model, but it gets commendable fuel economy in 4×2 configuration. A truck that weights 5000+ lbs, has 20 mpg highway, 403 lb-ft torque, and ULEV-II emissions. I certainly would not call that bad. In this case, the laws of physics limit how good economy can be. Such a big, heavy powerful truck cannot achieve above 20 mpg, unless it’s a diesel or a hybrid.

    For a quick comparison, GM’s 6.0L equipped trucks get 15/19 EPA, and that engine is not only weaker than Toyota’s 5.7L, it’s also not ULEV-II emissions rated. Ford’s 5.4 V8, which is much weaker than either GM’s 6.0L or Toyota’s 5.7L, achieves 14/19 in F150 trucks. Emissions for that engine I could not find.

    At least emissions wise, a V8 Tundra is just about the cleanest V8 full size pickup available.

  • avatar

    Can Toyota reconcile its touchy feely image with He Man trucks and, gulp, NASCAR?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/17/sports/othersports/17nascar.html?ex=1169701200&en=864971053d43b783&ei=5070&emc=eta1

  • avatar
    Gotta Chime In

    I still don’t see the point. You build product to meet consumer demand and market yourself to appeal to the consumer. Toyota prides itself on being a good corporate citizen and boasts their green products. So what? Does building a full size pickup truck discount their image as a producer of green vehicles? No. Until Toyota builds the opposite of a green vehicle (worst in class emissions, mileage or whatever), how can you argue against them being a producer of green vehicles who has earned the right to advertise that quality?

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Does building a full size pickup truck discount their image as a producer of green vehicles? No.

    You mean a truck that has a fuel economy rating that’s within 1-2 mpg of what the other domestics have doesn’t count?

    The Big 2.5 makes big trucks and big SUV’s and they’re criticized to no end for making these vehicles and forcing them onto the consumer.

    Toyota does the same thing, but it’s just business.

    The Silverado has a Hybrid version, nobody says anything. The Silverado uses cylinder deactivation to boost fuel economy, nobody says anything. The Silverado’s two mode system combined with cylinder deactivation promises up to a 25% reduction in consumption, nobody says anything. But they’re the evil company that’s killing polar bears.

    I’ll stop my talk of Toyota being hypocritical when everyone else stops their talk of GM (et. al.) being evil. When was the last time anybody’s heard of eco-terrorists torching a lot full of Sequoias and Land Cruisers?

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    John Williams: With five manufacturers pushing full size “American style” pickups, I see a bit of a bloodbath ahead, and the Ram and Titan look most vulnerable to me. Just like the sprinter van is carving out a nice profitable niche, so could a euro-style pickup, especially among the real contractors, etc. Show a contractor a more efficient tool, and I guarantee it, he will seriously consider it.

  • avatar
    Terry

    The Tundra owner will always have ONE thing that GM/Ford/ChryCo owner will never have…the right to say..”It’s a TOYOTA”
    Translation: I’m not one of you, I have all my teeth, my dealer treats me like a king, NASCAR is for hoosiers, and that Mellencamp commercial is a sign of desperation.”
    Let’s say this guy started out with a Corolla, had a Celica, matured into a Camry then Avalon, decided he wants a truck. If he had good dealer experience, resale, reliability and longevity with his Toyota products, why would he even want to try a GM/Ford/ChryCo truck? Now he wont have to.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Wow, what an amazingly stereotypical thing to say.

  • avatar
    dean

    Quasi, I think the criticism is more about the extent to which the 2.5 rely on the trucks for the viability (if you can call it that) of their business.

    I can’t recall any criticism on this site about the fact that GM and Ford make trucks. Quite the opposite, in fact. They are often lauded as examples that the 2.5 can make class-leading vehicles. It’s a shame, however, that they don’t put the same effort into their everyday people movers.

  • avatar
    philbailey

    Rule Britannia.
    Autocar magazine ran a diesel and a petrol Citroen C3 around the worlds’ most congested road, the M25 London beltway, side by side.

    BOTH cars got over 65 mpg. In another case, two Swiss journalists drove a VW Polo 1.4 diesel for maximum economy, as one would in an economy run and achieved 103 mpg.

    There are many other examples.

    To even think that the Pious, sorry, Prius, reaches anything approaching this type of economy is ludicrous.

  • avatar
    Terry

    “Wow, what an amazingly stereotypical thing to say. ”

    Probably…then again, check out those Chevy commercials. You think they are any less so?

  • avatar
    kablamo

    Is Toyota two-faced when it comes to environmentalism? Sure, in fact so are most other car manufacturers (even, sigh…Honda). The difference is Toyota actually offers several realistic alternatives to the public (Echo/Yaris, Corolla, Prius).

    Plenty of people love to complain about the Prius forget it’s a step no one else (except Honda with the Insight) was willing to take. Whether or not it lives up to its EPA mileage (which is determined by the govt and are the only ones that can be put on the window), it’s still one of the most fuel efficient cars on the road, and its batteries can be recycled. It’s not perfect, but no one has offered any alternatives. (Yes there is diesel but that wasn’t an option until this year, and it still has limitations).

  • avatar
    KixStart

    “… Citroen C3 … amazing mileage … Polo … amazing mileage … Prius does’t measure up…’

    Can I get one of those HERE? No? Then the fuel economy of Toyotas is the best that I can do HERE, am I right? Or did I miss a GM/Ford(*)/DCX product that does better? No?

    (*) Actually, Ford does offer the Escape hybrid for class-leading city fuel economy. However, personal Ford history took them out of the running.

  • avatar
    EJ

    I see no problem with Toyota’s approach.
    A diverse marketplace simply requires a diversity of products.
    Offering trucks to ranchers doesn’t diminish their pioneering work with hybrids.
    To Toyota’s credit it must be noted that they have the smaller Tacoma truck available, while the Detroit companies have neglected their smaller trucks.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Like the very successful Prius meme, the Tundra is designed to appeal to a certain customer “psychographic.”

    I just worry that for Toyota’s sake, it’s not big enough.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Philbailey — there’s an American guy who gets over 120mph out of a Hybrid cars and 59mph form an Accord.

    Just depends on how you drive.

    http://tinyurl.com/3xfyfe

    Though, he happens to drive like a total prick.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    Just to make sure the right numbers are being compared:

    Johnson’s numbers from above
    Tundra 4 x 2
    4.0L V6: 17/20 EPA
    4.7L V8: 15/18 EPA
    5.7L V8: 16/20 EPA
    Tundra 4 x 4
    4.7L V8: 15/18 EPA
    5.7L V8: 14/18 EPA

    Specs from Chevrolets site
    Chev Silverado 4 x 2
    4.3L V6: 17/21 EPA
    4.8L V8: 16/20 EPA
    5.3L V8: 16/22 EPA
    6.0L V8: 15/19 EPA

    Chev Silverado 4 x 4
    4.3L V6: 16/19 EPA
    4.8L V8: 15/19 EPA
    5.3L V8: 16/20 EPA
    6.0L V8: 15/19 EPA

    Raises one question with Chev, why would you buy the 4.3 or 4.8 engines? Also, I guess, how much help will the 6-speed automatic help fuel economy next year.

    Because this was brought up earlier I wanted to bring up one other point, the Honda Ridgeline and Chev Avalanche get basically the same fuel economy even when the Avalanche has a V8 and weighs 1000 lbs more. So even Honda can do better.

  • avatar
    philbailey

    Lieberman:

    here’s an American guy who gets over 120mph out of a Hybrid cars and 59mph form an Accord.

    Find me a Pious Prius that does 120 MPH and I’ll buy one, promise.

  • avatar

    Terry:
    Let’s say this guy started out with a Corolla, had a Celica, matured into a Camry then Avalon, decided he wants a truck.

    I guess he’d need something bigger to move his casket. Does anyone under 50 buy an Avalon?

  • avatar
    webebob

    Theres an old political wag to the effect that if you want to convert a voter to Republican, give ’em home ownership. I’ll borrow that analogy and say if you want a convert here, put a toyota in their garage.

    But don’t think Toyota listens to all their customers, they haven’t built a real sports car since the Toyota 2000GT in the late sixties.

    Judging from the fit and finish observed while waxing my first toyota in 49 years of existance, a $30K fj cruiser, it is the equal, finish-wise, of a 2007 Porsche 997. Both are light-years ahead of a 2005 Corvette C6. GM’s (engineering) explanation of one of the flaws (paint): “The EPA forces us to use non-solvent based paint which causes orange peel in the paint finish.”

    But like Ricky said: “Lucy (GM) you got some (more) ‘splaining to do!”

  • avatar
    DaveClark

    Anyone thinking Toyota brought out the hybrids to win over the environmentalists ahead of profits is naive. Fact is, the hybrids have been great business. Winning greenies as friends along the way is a bonus.

    There’s nothing inconsistent about launching a truck to compete with the domestics. Toyota will do very well with the magdaddy truck. I might even hug the grille myself.

    It’s BIDNESS man!

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Toyota is simply fulfilling Alfred Sloan’s vision for GM: “a car for every purse and purpose”. Substitute vehicle for car and you have pretty much what Toyota is doing. GM, on the other hand, drops segments when they don’t seem to be the next big thing (minivans, coupes, etc.).

    If some environmentalists love Toyota for the hybrids and hate them for the big trucks, that is to be expected.

    Companies are simply businesses, not vehicles for the expression of our deepest fears and passions!

  • avatar
    windswords

    SunnyvaleCA:
    January 18th, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Frank, you forgot one important detail in your post about fuel economy ratings for the other “similar” vehicle engines by the big 2.5: While the displacement might be similar, you are comparing 2-valve pushrod engines to 4-valve DOCH engines.

    —-

    The Ram base V8 engine , the 4.7, “for the size closest to the 4.7L V8 in the Tundra” – does not have pushrods. It has overhead cams. For more: http://www.allpar.com/mopar/47.html

    The Hemi does, but that is not the base engine for the Ram anymore than the 5.4 is Toyota’s base engine.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    jthorner:

    Don’t be so logical; you’re ruining it for everyone else.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Two notes on all this fuel economy comparison. Keep in mind that certain engine/drivetrain/rear axle combinations may do relatively better on the very “unreal” EPA cycle. These one or two mpg EPA differences may not directly translate to comperable real world differences.

    Also,what difference does pushrods vs. OHC have to do with the EPA test? Nothing that I could possibly imagine.

  • avatar
    dean

    Jonny – I’m sure the people around that guy more than make up for his thriftiness as they hammer their throttles in frustration.

    That guy is going to kill someone in one of his engine-off coast-downs when he runs out of brake assist and can’t stop.

  • avatar
    Jonny Lieberman

    Dean,

    i said the guy drives like a prick.

  • avatar
    Terry

    The Tundra owner will always have ONE thing that GM/Ford/ChryCo owner will never have…the right to say..”It’s a TOYOTA”

    “Whoop de damn do!”

    Funny, when I was a kid, the best-in-class of any product was referred to as..”The Cadillac of_____”
    In the ’70s it changed to…”It’s the Mercedes Benz of____”
    Today, “It’s the Lexus of____”
    If by chance Toyota does well with their new large(r) truck, can a Tundra-based Escalade-type Lexus be far behind?
    I can just see some well-to-do urbanite rolling down the window of his 22″ chrome wheel-equipped Tundracade, yelling to the street corner crowd…”Whoop de damn do!”

  • avatar
    Kman

    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    TTAC, what’s going on man?

    Some context to what I want to say:

    1. I am not particularly a fan of Toyota, so this is not some defensive knee-jerk reaction for “my team”
    2. I want to raise your awareness to the principle of something that you “don’t know that you don’t know” (a blind spot)

    This editorial, in its content and its mere existence, seems to indicate that all the “you’re biased” attacks did, at some level, affect you. This comes accross as your seeing the need to have an “attack” editorial on a foreign-owned company.

    With all due respect, this editorial’s points are far too contrived.

    The basic point is supposedly this: Toyota, on the one hand, portrays itself as the “Green” company, while on the other, puts out gas-guzzling product.

    In addition to the head-on counter that some other posters have made here, the basic premise itself is false:

    Toyota does *not* present itself as a “Green” company. I haven’t seen any Toyota ad for products such as a Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, Echo/Yaris, Camry, Avalon… stating that this is the “Green” choice to make. Only ads for a Prius, Camry Hybrid and other hybrids state that *this* particular car is a green choice. So Toyota is forthright throughout, and not pulling a Janus.

    Even with this aside, Toyota — 2nd largest car manufacturer in the world with a broad product line — deserves full credit for developping Hybrid technology at a huge per-vehicle loss for many many years (Prius Gen1 came out in 1999), and now it is developed enough for manufacturers such as Nissan and Ford to license it and offer it through *more* car models still. Kudos to Toyota.

    Just because they are making a decent buck on all this, we have to somehow see them as “bad”? What nonesense is this? Why can’t a company or individual be good, do good and still be allowed to make a buck?

    If anything, we need to make sure it is *these* types of companies, and *these* types of people who do make a buck. Otherwise, who are we giving our money to?

    Bring back the sincere editorials with a point to make. GM *is* dying (but can still prevent that from happening) and Chrysler *is* committing suicide.

    And today, Toyota is one of the greatest companies and businesses in *any* industry.

    Let’s go back to telling it like it is.

  • avatar
    svensk

    Does the new tundra’s hood still dent if you attempt to push on it hard while closing? lol
    The thing is still ugly the Japanese simply cannot make an attractive looking vehicle.

    SkiD666-
    I agree I don’t know why people buy the 4.3 v6 and 4.8 v8 truck engines from GM. I think it comes down to cost, but the beastly 5.3 really isn’t that much more.
    I think HP wars between GM and Toyota will come down to who has more torque mngt. programed into their engines. Toyota can claim 400lbs of tq., but I would be willing to bet they’ll be pulling a Nissan and hold the engine back if you try to abuse it.

  • avatar
    Kman

    Michael R. makes my point beautifully in one paragraph:

    First, we should take the Miller Brewing Company to task for portraying itself as producer of beverages that both “taste great” and are “less filling.”

    Hilarious!

  • avatar

    DaveClark:
    Anyone thinking Toyota brought out the hybrids to win over the environmentalists ahead of profits is naive. Fact is, the hybrids have been great business. Winning greenies as friends along the way is a bonus

    Does toyota still lose money on every Prius sold?

  • avatar
    KixStart

    “Does toyota still lose money on every Prius sold?”

    This allegation is common but no one I’ve seen making it has ever offered a credible reference to support this. Do you have one?

    Frankly, I doubt that they lose money on it. The dealers are certainly making money. I don’t know about the present but they were initially rolling off the dealer lots for sticker plus.

  • avatar
    philbailey

    The dealers are making money in the service department and boy, is that going to increase as the Pious gets older!

  • avatar
    Realistic

    Kman,

    Very smart post. I applaud you. But the gen 1 Prius came out in 1997 in Japan, not 1999.

    I’m sure the Tundra (hands down the best looking and I’m sure the best 1/2 ton truck in the market) will do very well.

  • avatar

    Total recall?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16697719/

    If Toyota’s rep for reliability takes too many knocks, it’ll hurt them more than the dichotomy between green and fossil fuel sucking pickups.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Kman
    The Tundra good looking?The best pickup out there?
    Toyota might build a fairly good vehicle,but face it they are butt ass ugly.
    The best pickup?The market will decide that.The guy that wants a real truck to do a real truck job.That guys gonna buy a Silverado.
    Compare the specs Tundra vs Silverado the Chevy wins hand down.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Let’s go back to telling it like it is.

    I agree. Robert, Frank, and all the other TTAC staff, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that the main premise and purpose of TTAC? To tell it like it is?

    I think HP wars between GM and Toyota will come down to who has more torque mngt. programed into their engines. Toyota can claim 400lbs of tq., but I would be willing to bet they’ll be pulling a Nissan and hold the engine back if you try to abuse it.

    Pulling a Nissan? You mean something along the lines of using an 8″ ring gear (and a lot of carryover parts from the Frontier) for an engine with 385 lb-ft torque, and rating it to tow over 9000 lbs, with many resulting reliability problems occuring? FYI all the new Tundras come standard with 9.5″ ring gears, and the 5.7L equipped ones get 10.5″ ring gears.

    Edmunds tested the new Tundra on a dyno, and got 321HP *at the wheels*. Using an estimate of about 15% drivetrain loss, considering the size of the truck itself, as well as the large tires, than Toyota certainly has not “pulled a Nissan”. Edmunds also achieved a 0 – 60 time of 6.3 sec with a 5.7L Tundra Double Cab 4×4 that weighs 5637 pounds. Long-term engine reliability will have to be seen, but likely will be at least as good as the old 4.7L V8.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Compare the specs Tundra vs Silverado the Chevy wins hand down.

    No it doesn’t. The Chevy in many instances loses to the Tundra comparitively speaking.

  • avatar
    dhathewa

    PhilBailey wrote, “The dealers are making money [on the Prius] in the service department and boy, is that going to increase as the Pious gets older!”

    Oh?

    Mmmm… No, I don’t think so.

  • avatar
    1984

    Wow,

    154 post bitchfest!

    By far the funniest string of comments!

    Toyota is a company for profit and not your best friend… imagine that

  • avatar
    mikey

    Johnson.
    The real test will be the market.If the Toyota truck line beats the 2.5 truck lines,say good good bye to the domestic car companys.I figure 5 to 6yrs for the North American economy to recover.
    Ripple effect maybe 3 or 4 million jobs.
    Happy motoring! I’m outa here.

    mikey

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Today’s Fark.com headline about the recall:

  • avatar
    starlightmica

    Sorry, malformed XHTML and my browser won’t allow me to edit:

    Toyota to recall 533,000 Sequoias, Tundras, Redwoods, Steppes, Alluvial Basins, and the Gulf of Tangiers

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Kman got this right — I see no evidence that TMC is touting itself as being The Green Company. Yes, it markets certain nameplates on this basis, but the entire lineup? No.

    TMC is now in the large truck business because it’s the last segment to conquer in the US market. The Big 2.5 have hidden behind the skirts of federal protection thanks to the 25% tariff on imported trucks, and Toyota has been too busy successfully getting a foothold in other categories to make trucks a priority. (Given the tariff and the redneck marketing that often accompanies truck sales here, you can’t blame them.)

    As RF notes, the real Achilles’ heel is maintaining quality levels. if TMC’s quality proves to be a newfound weakness, then its brand will be tarnished. I suspect that TMC takes this seriously and won’t allow it to happen over the long run, but if it fails in this regard, then it will deserve to follow in the Big 2.5’s footsteps. Companies reap what they sow, and no amount of schadenfreude about Toyota’s faults, whether real or imagined, is not going to make Big 2.5 vehicles any better or improve their sales.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I’ve been sleeping on the job over at fark…I used to own most of the automotive headlines before I got sick of that place. That is a good one.

    I wonder why it took 11 accidents and 6 injuries to issue the recall, though. At least they could have done a conditional recall, where the dealer inspects the ball joints and replaces them only if needed. I guess they wanted to avoid the bad press, which obviously didn’t work now, did it?

  • avatar

    Pch101: I see no evidence that TMC is touting itself as being The Green Company.

    Then you haven’t looked very far. Toyota’s web sites (both their US site and the Corporate site) are full of their claims of environmental superiority. For example:

    At Toyota, we operate under a global earth charter that promotes environmental responsibility throughout our entire company. We are leading the way in lowering emissions and improving fuel economy in gasoline powered vehicles.

    and

    In addition, as part of our dedication to environmental preservation, we have developed strong partnerships with organizations like The National Arbor Day Foundation and The National Environmental Education & Training Foundation.

    and

    Toyota has always strived to manufacture vehicles that achieve industry-leading fuel economy and low emissions while providing customers with the products they want at prices they can afford.

    Funny thing though… these pages are full of references to their hybrids, but there’s no mention of their big trucks or SUVs anywhere.

  • avatar
    Johnson

    Then you haven’t looked very far. Toyota’s web sites (both their US site and the Corporate site) are full of their claims of environmental superiority.

    Where have I seen these claims before? Oh that’s right, just about every major automaker on Earth has made such similar claims. Check out the annual reports as well an environmental reports from both GM and Ford.

    At least emissions-wise, Toyota can certainly lay claim to leading the way. All of their V8 engines are ULEV-II rated, and all new GR V6 engines are also ULEV-II rated. Their I4 engines range from ULEV-II down to PZEV ratings.

    Like I said, being “green” isn’t always about fuel economy.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “I see no evidence that TMC is touting itself as being The Green Company.”

    Then you haven’t looked very far. Toyota’s web sites (both their US site and the Corporate site) are full of their claims of environmental superiority.

    “Superiority” would entail TMC claiming that it does more than do other companies. I don’t see those snippets including such claims. In those examples, TMC is offering the very same corporate responsibility/ enviroethics platitudes that others are offering. Some examples:

    GM pays homage to environmental responsibility (with a Hummer in one of the photos, no less)

    Ford’s tribute to our planet

    Not to be left behind, DCX also loves Mother Earth

    Looking abroad, don’t forget Renault’s commitment to making the world a better place

    No automaker has a monopoly on this stuff, and to be fair, none of them are claiming to be uniquely good or that their rivals are nasty evildoers. These enviro-efforts are all extensions of the various PR departments, and you can’t blame them for each trying to put its best foot forward, because that’s going to help them to sell cars.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    Link to the PDF talking about the Hummer H3 in Pch101’s post, http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/environment/recycling/in_our_veh/H3_4.pdf

    I guess there is more to being environmental friendly than just fuel economy.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    Maybe they will just recall all of them and they won’t have any environmental impact at all!

  • avatar
    Realistic

    Ash,

    11 reports out of 556,000 units is a whopping 0.0020% failure rate…….

  • avatar

    The commentator known as “Realistic” has been banned. Any comments originating from his email or IP address will be automatically blocked.

    Again, debate the issues as virogorously as you like. But if you disrespect the site, its authors or fellow commenatators, you are not welcome here.

    Period.

  • avatar
    ash78

    Realistic
    My case in point–or in my head–was that Audi issued a recall for control arms after zero documented accidents. VW issued a similar conditional (inspect/replace) recall on lower control arms and separately on tie rod ends, also with no accidents on record. VW also did a wheel well liner recall based on a potential scenario with tire shreds severing the fuel filler neck. Those are just from personal experience.

    The worst kind of recall is that which is precipitated by an actual accident. I hold those against a manufacturer, while “preemptive recalls” can be a sign that they are at least responsive to design problems.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Also,what difference does pushrods vs. OHC have to do with the EPA test? Nothing that I could possibly imagine.

    Paul, my point was that people were comparing EPA numbers for similar-displacement engines. However, people should be comparing EPA numbers for similar power (and maybe torque) engines. A 4.7L pushrod might make 240 HP whereas Toyota’s 4.7L makes over 300. So, perhaps a 5.3L pushrod should be compared to the 4.7L DOCH.

  • avatar
    partsisparts

    I cannot believe the “It’s OK because it’s Toyota mentality regrding the string of recalls that has plagued toyota for the past two years.
    What about the last Tundra recall when Toyota tried to pull the wool over the NHTSA’s eyes?

  • avatar
    airglow

    Jeff in Canada:
    January 18th, 2007 at 10:15 am
    Toyota has done a great job generating good PR regarding their environmental stance. The general public regards Toyota as the leaders in fuel efficent, clean vehicles, all while having no less than (now) 6 vehicles that average mpg are in the teens.

    Honda should be the one’s getting all this positive PR. They are the actual leaders in fuel economy and corporate responsibility.
    They don’t even offer a V8 in their entire line-up!!
    When they entered the pick-up market, they went for a certain niche, and hit it out of the park. If I was in the market for a pick-up, the Ridgeline would be tops on my list.

    Uh, Jeff, have you checked out the sales numbers of the Ridgeback, oops, I mean Ridgeline.

    The Ridgeback is an example of a vehicle the auto press and enthusiast love, but hasn’t sold very well. As one editorial observed, the market for pickups for people who don’t really need pickups apparently isn’t very large.

    This is the opposite of the Compass. A vehicle the auto press and enthusiasts HATE, but is selling very well.

    Do you own a Ridgeback and a VW by chance?

  • avatar
    roadracer

    The Ridgeback is an example of a vehicle the auto press and enthusiast love, but hasn’t sold very well.
    Because it’s so ugly.
    This is the opposite of the Compass. A vehicle the auto press and enthusiasts HATE, but is selling very well.
    That doesn’t make sense, it’s just as ugly. I haven’t seen many around here.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Of course Toyota is more environment friendly than the D2.5. A simple count of SUV/Truck models offers you no insight. Instead we should consider the number of cars that are polluting our air (and to what degree does each car pollute). Corolla+Camry far exceeds Tundra, while Fusion+Focus is way less than the F trucks.

    Thus, they may both offer 50 truck models. But Toyota beats Ford (or GM) in terms of environment by offering higher quality small cars that people actually want to drive.

  • avatar
    thx_zetec

    wsn

    yup, comparing numbers of models is just plain silly. Like ranking baseball players by their zodiac signs.

    Reminds me of GM’s claim to make more “models getting 30 mpg or more than any other . . .”. Gimme a break GM makes more models than, well, there are grains of sand on the Earth – this is more a sign of rampant badge-engineering than anything else.

    Maybe to one-up this Ford could scrap the Focus name and give each car a unique model – say and f928743097. Then they could say they have 60,000 models getting more than 30 mpg.

    Meanwhile they could group all the “big iron” Nimitz class vehicles (SUV’s, trucks, semi’s, bulldozers, zambonis . . ) into one model, then claim “we only have one model getting less than 20 mpg”

  • avatar
    svensk

    The newest Toyota truck commercial today made me angry. They compared a small block pushrod to their DOHC block side by side, and were like “this is what 400 lbs. of torque looks like” Well no kidding DOHC engines are MUCH bigger in physical size and weight than a pushrod of the same displacement.
    BTW- does anyone know what the life expectancy of the tundra’s timing chain? Normally it states in the owners manual somewhere I’m just curious.

  • avatar
    Rocketeer

    I would really like to see a Toyota Quality Watch. I own a Toyota, and after reading about some of the problems they have been having I would like to know how they are fixing them.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    “Toyota spends millions of dollars touting themselves as the automotive equivalent of the Sierra Club. They’re out to save the planet with their Hybrid Synergy Drive and put OPEC sheiks on the public dole with their fuel sipping econoboxes.”

    Of course they aren’t. Really now, who doesn’t already see through the average big-company ad campaign?

    “They’re so magnanimous they’re sharing their hybrid technology with Ford and Nissan (and anyone else willing to pay the price).”

    Well, they’re sharing because licensing is a lucrative business. The same way that Apple and Microsoft license technologies to each other and to all of the little peon businesses that have to employ these technologies in their own products. But again…who doesn’t already know this?

    “Toyota’s even bragging that their new manufacturing plants will produce no waste to clog the landfills. Yes, the birds are singing in the trees and daisies are blooming in the meadows thanks to Toyota. And then there’s the Tundra.”

    I don’t know if such a thing as a non-polluting factory is even possible, but what the hell. If you build it, they will come. Somebody’s gotta be the first to do it.

    “Toyota makes no bones about it: they want to be a major player in America’s lucrative full-size pickup market. After years of twiddling their toes in the water with a size 30-slim Tundra, they finally cowboyed-up and built them a gen-u-ine giant. The new Toyota Tundra is every bit as gi-normous and gluttonous as the Dodge Rams, Chevrolet Silverados and Ford F150’s it faces.”

    Again…this is not really new news, is it?

    “…Meanwhile, Toyota’s playing footsie with federal regulations…”

    We knew this too, didn’t we? Even if we didn’t, it should not be a surprise. Any large company wouldn’t be serving their shareholders if they weren’t doing everything legally in their power to maximize shareholder value.

    “The new procedures will make the numbers on the window sticker more realistic (i.e. lower).”

    To be accurate and complete, the new procedures will make the numbers on ALL vehicles more realistic (i.e. lower).

    But why doesn’t anybody seem to know this? Everybody I talk to seems to think that ONLY the Prius or ONLY the Hybrid Highlander or ONLY the hybrid Lexus SUV will “suffer” from lower numbers.

    Puh-lease. ALL numbers will be lower. But my personal numbers WILL NOT change. I get between 45 and 48 MPG in my Prius. In real-world driving. So instead of 50 or 55 or whatever it is, the sticker will show 45 of unleaded-regular fuel. And instead of 24, the Corvette will show 15 or 18 of premium-unleaded fuel.

    It all equals out in the end. What I mean is that the differences will remain roughly the same as they are today, that is; not that the new EPA test procedures will “equalize” any Toyota hybrid and a Corvette.

    But of course, they’re not “equals” in any respect, except that they each have four wheels, a power plant (or two…or three), brakes, turn signals, and air conditioning.

    I can live with that.

    But what really bothers me is that we continually hear misinformation repeated and repeated and repeated again. It doesn’t do ANY manufacturer or consumer any good unless we are complete and honest when discussing this matter.

    “ToMoCo can’t risk lower numbers against competition’s higher-rated ’07 models. They’ll get to display the higher numbers for a few months before the (unchanged) ’08 models go on sale this fall with ratings 8 to 12 percent lower than the ‘07s.”

    Everybody’s numbers will be lower. Maybe hybrids will fall by a slightly or even significantly higher number. We’ll see. But 45 to 48 MPG of regular-unleaded fuel in REAL WORLD stop/go/stopagain driving is not too shabby against ANY other car.

    Again, I emphasize REAL WORLD driving, a roughly equal mixture of open-road freeway driving and stop-light rush hour commuting, not just some weekend vacation where I only measured my highway MPG.

    And yes, sometimes I have to kick it in the ass to get ahead of those pokey-slow Corvette drivers busy smoking their cigarettes or chatting up the cell phone when the light turns green. I repeat, REAL WORLD driving.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Toyota knows that the new Tundra, in whatever iteration, will get much better gas mileage, pollute less, be safer and more of everything else that concerns Environmentalists – than their cherished Eco-hound dolphin hugging VW microbus so favored in their rose-colored recollections.

    Why were hippies never up in arms about the horribly polluting, gas guzzling aircooled VW Vans? Answer: Because they werent and arent serious people.

    Toyota knows all this because they market hybrids to a discreet market: stupid, self-congratulatory and gullible posseurs. Environmentalism, at root, is a faith and a simplistic one at that. Any idea that can be easily expressed on a bumper sticker or a T-shirt is inherently suspect.

    Toyota has it right: It is morally wrong to allow a sucker, especially preeningly self-righteous ones, to keep their money.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    Wow, Larry, that’s a bit of a pessimistic view.

    Although I would agree that a lot of the “hippie” and “environmentalist” crowd are nothing more than people guided by their own need for self-congratulations and that many are not really being “serious” about the causes they tout.

    Especially the DC types and the West Coast Hollywood types who tell the rest of us what to do while going on and buying their Hummers and private planes as they please.

    But there’s the other end of the spectrum, too. The really serious ones may be somewhat dysfunctional. For example Ed Begley Jr on that show “Living With Ed.” His environmentalism is so self-militant that he and his wife are often paralyzed into inaction for fear of putting anything into a landfill.

    I just couldn’t live like that. I’d be unhappy and it wouldn’t be long before I started to look unhealthy like them.

    One way of looking at it is that extremism is extremism, no matter how you cut it. I’d make a bigger deal of it but I don’t really care that much one way or another.

  • avatar
    tacoboy96

    I took a look at the many pictures of this truck and judging it based off of my dad’s own 2002 Tundra, the truck is garbage. It gets something like 14MPG when Chevrolet’s new Silverado is pushing 20MPG. That is a significant difference that will hurt their sales.
    After seeing a new Silverado a few weeks ago, I can honestly say that at this point,GM builds a better truck, and that’s coming from a long time toyota owner.

  • avatar
    Engineer

    Bottom line: Toyota is an efficient business who cares primarily about making money. With the new large Tundra, Toyota now covers the entire spectrum, from large trucks to small cars. This effectively means gas prices cannot hurt Toyota: gas prices go up – Prius/Yaris sales figures go through the roof. Gas prices go down – Tundra sales figures look good! Why cede the large truck market segment (with all those big profits to D2.5)?

    With a full line-up Toyota will obviously need to play different tunes for different buyers. “I want my M.P.G.” for Prius/Yaris market. “I want my M.P.V.” for the truck buyers. It’s called marketing.

    Expecting Toyota to spend their own money to save the planet is like expecting MacDonalds to sell health food at a loss!


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