We’re at a difficult phase in the global economy. Economists would have you believe that we’re out of recession and things are starting to look rosy. But just talk to someone like Peter Schiff and he’d have you believe that a second downturn is inevitable. It really is tough to say where the economy will go and it’s showing in the car market. USA Today reports that Toyota are looking at their 4Runner & FJ Cruiser models and wondering whether to build a new generation or not.
“We have to look at that market closely,” said Jim Lentz, head of Toyota’s U.S Sales operation. Mr Lentz went on to mention that with the market for truck based, full-frame vehicles contracting and the fuel economy standards coming into force, the case for these vehicles’ existence makes less sense. Do they make more sense as unibody trucklets? That’s one of the possibilities Toyota is exploring.
However, one vehicle which Toyota will not give up on is the Tundra. Toyota has indicated that it will push forward with full size pick up trucks, and indeed, ToMoCo has just added a second shift at its San Antonio Tundra plant. Therefore, it’s a good bet that the Sequoia SUV will carry on production, as it is built off the same platform.
Toyota sold 19,675 4Runners last year, as volume fell 59 percent. FJ Cruiser volume for 2009 was 11,941, down 58 percent. Tundra sold 79,385 units last year, a 42.2 percent drop from 2008.