By on February 7, 2013

Toyota chose Chicago to introduce the new 2014 Tundra. Following the lead of the big three, the Tunda is bigger and has a more premium interior. Unlike the big boys, Toyota still won’t have a 3/4 or 1 ton models, but they are touting the Tundra as having the highest North American parts content of any other 1/2 ton truck. Them’s fighting words.

Of course 1/2 ton doesn’t really mean half a ton of bed capacity any more. The Tundra with the 5.7L V8 will have a 2,000lb bed capacity and a SAE certified 10,000lb towing capacity. Helping tow lovers out is a new integrated towing controller and a redesigned rear bumper that’s only 2/3 chrome so when you smack your hitch into your bumper (you know who you are) it will be less obvious and perhaps easier to repair.

There will be a TRD model, a Limitied model and since everyone else is going Platinum, so will the Tundra. Aping the King Ranch themed F-150, Toyota is getting their on ranch edition with saddle brown leather, a higher price tag and some dubious Texas ranch tie-ins. Every model gets a redesigned interior, Toyota’s latest infotainment systems and more soft touch dash bits. Toyota hasn’t announced pricing yet, so that just means you’ll have to visit TTAC daily for that release.

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108 Comments on “Chicago Auto Show: 2014 Toyota Tundra...”


  • avatar
    grzydj

    The lack of obnoxious chrome is really refreshing, as is the brushed aluminum (looking) grill. Maybe the horrific chrome will come with all the Ranch Hand editions etc.

    No word on changes to the frame? Lots of people walked away from the Tundra because of its wimpy C-channel frame.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Autoblog has the full press release, but it looks like the frame is unchanged. The powertrain is also all carryover – same engines and transmissions on offer, though the PR did mention updates to the steering, suspension, and engine mounts to reduce NVH.

      All in all it’s more of a facelift than a redesign, but it should be enough to bump Tundra sales a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      That picture is the Platinum edition, the others Toyota showed today – Limited, 1794 Ranch – have much more obnoxious chrome. Haven’t seen the SR5 yet so I still have some hope.

    • 0 avatar
      jandrews

      Which really is a shame, because being boxed hardly makes a frame better.

      Engineering is a lot more than box vs. C. C has some advantages, especially in load bearing situations, which is why most 6 wheelers and other cargo trucks are built on c-channel stuff.

      Don’t get me wrong: There are plenty of other reasons not to like the Tundra. It looked bloated, it drank gas (though the 5.7L was a monster engine), the interior was incredibly schizophrenic and a bit plasticky.

      Performance wise though, it never had a problem.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Have you ever paid attention to a Tundra going over bumps when you are driving down the road behind one? The bed dances all over the place due to the frame flopping around and that is without a load in it. Yes you can make a C-channel frame strong but that is not the case with the Tundra.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        I am a structural engineer by profession, and I can’t think of a single load bearing application (be it bending or torsion) where a C-Channel makes a better structural member than a square tube. An enclosed section is more resistant to torsion, a property which helps its strength in flexure (as beams can fail in bending due to lateral torsional buckling well before their actual flexural strength is reached). For the same cross sectional area, Square sections are superior to channel sections. Granted I don’t design vehicle frames, but from a general engineering perspective, an enclosed section is almost always better in terms of strength. We tend to use channels either in a back to back configuration (to achieve symmetry , akin to an I-beam) or where we need to place the flat against another surface.

      • 0 avatar
        jandrews

        This is the best rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of the Tundra frame I’ve seen, sourced and all:

        http://forums.pickuptrucks.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=620165&page=1

        You can feel free to make up your own mind. Strength and rigidity are not the only goals of a pickup frame; “strong enough” varies by application. Concerns includes fuel economy, durability to cyclic loading, manufacturing costs, etc.

        If you feel the Tundra frame isn’t the right frame for what *you’re* going to do with your truck, then there are plenty of other options on the market. I’m just tired of people whining about c-channel vs. boxed. The comparison just isn’t that simplistic in context.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Lots of videos of the rear bed flexing in tests on Youtube. It’d be similar to going down a washboard road. One company offered a brace to squelch the flexing.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    I bet it will be dope! Toyota is competing.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    this is (still) where Detroit makes it’s money, because everyone in this segment is so competitive I think we are living in a GOLDEN AGE of full size light trucks.

  • avatar
    Dan

    I don’t see any obvious steps back but they missed (or if they hit, failed to mention) some low hanging opportunities.

    Where’s the 36 gallon tank? Boxed rear frame? Long bed Crewmax?

    A different grill and a different dash. This is about as new as the 2012 Tacoma.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      +1 on the tank size. That 5.7, towing 10,000lbs, aint exactly a Prius.

      As long as GM continues to equip their 3/4 and tons with a straight tracking IFS, I cannot see what this race to the moon in advertised capacities for 1/2 tons is all about.

      A long bed Crewmax probably should have an uprated frame if it is to carry anything at all in addition to the kind of crew that would require a cab that big to begin with.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    I’ll tell my buddies to grab their faux Carhartt and head on up to the Chicago to check it out. Honestly seldom see Tundras on the job site but do see them running around. Must be the bosses who don’t actually have to use their truck other than a rolling office.

  • avatar
    dodobreeder

    I’ll be trading my 2009 Tundra 4dr Limited 5.7 later this year and will look at what Tundra has brought to the real world. I’m glad to see that the magnificent power train has been left intact although I halfway hoped for 390 cubes (6.35-liter) or 430 cubes (7.0-liter).

    If Ford brings the Alpha concept to the real world, it could very well be that my 2014/2015 truck will be a Ford with the biggest powerplant they have. There’s no replacement for displacement!

    Like many other Tundra owners, I also had hoped that Tundra would have their magnificent 8-speed automatic from the Lexus LS installed in the new Tundra.

  • avatar
    86er

    This is where that “Meet the Old Boss, Same as the Old Boss” headline would’ve come in handy.

  • avatar
    67dodgeman

    “Of course 1/2 ton doesn’t really mean half a ton of bed capacity any more.”

    And there’s where I run into problems. Cause all I want is a (true) 1/2 ton truck. Other than the butt-hurt-ugly Tacoma and the S-10-whatever-the-hell-it’s-called-now GM offering, there’s not a 1/2 ton on the market. The new Tundra is easily larger than a 1-ton from 20 years ago, and so’s the new Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. Way too freaking big for me.

    Best bet now is to look for a slightly used 2011 Ranger – that’s more “REAL” truck than anything I saw at the recent Houston Auto Show.

    • 0 avatar
      ZekeToronto

      I hear ya. I had two 4×4 versions of the original (pre-bloat) Tacomas and for me they were perfect sized trucks. With the V6 and 5-speed manual (and real four wheel drive that could be engaged and disengaged) they had plenty of grunt and still reasonable economy. Between them, they served me well for ten years. Alas now there’s absolutely nothing on the truck market that appeals to me.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Couldn’t agree more.

      A 1/2 ton ought to be the size of a Tacoma. Not indistinguishable from a 1 ton. Why not just get the 1 ton?

      If you live in the middle of nowhere, where parking even a big rig is no harder than a Smart, perhaps priorities are different.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Half tons grew in width after the 1950′s because it was silly not to.

        Three across seating doesn’t hurt, but remember the max and optimal width of full-size utility/flatbeds, trailers and top heavy cab-over campers are 8 foot.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    At least the truck manufacturers are going the opposite way from the building materials guys on size labels.

    Also, the Toyota factory is closer to the King ranch, and many other working ranches, than the the DFW based competition. At least if IIRC. The ranches near the DFW area are mostly hobbies for all the bankers and executives. Little actual work gets done up there anymore, and those in San Antonio and Houston are nearly as suspicious of them folks as we are Yankees. :)

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      All of the King Ranch F-150s are built in the Kansas City plant, which is at least more ranch country than Dearborn is.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        True. Raptor is DTP, King Ranch is KCAP. KC is where the Midwest meets the South. The stockyards in KC / Omaha used to be a hub of the ag industry. I’m a bit confused on Dallas Fort Worth relates to the truck competition, though… unless Landcrusher meant Dearborn, whose demographic is a bit different than Texas. I doubt you can find delicious Shatila baklava in Texas ;)

  • avatar
    Skink

    I expect the aftermarket will jump in with a better grille.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Uh it barely looks any different. Take the current Tundra, throw in a little Detroit 3 in the front and back and a re-arranged interior and call it a day. Even the power trains are unchanged! It was more than just the power train engineers that were sipping cocktails on this weak sauce effort. Ford and Chevy have little to worry about.

  • avatar

    I didn’t find anything to be wrong with the outside design of the outgoing Tundra (on the other hand, I hate its platform mate, the Sequoia). The interior is where I hope they focused most of their efforts. Nissan’s ancient Titan is no real competition, but everyone else has stepped their game up. And hopefully projector headlamps will be offered, since everyone else–aside from Nissan–offers them…

  • avatar
    PolestarBlueCobalt

    Another under-whelming toyota “redesign”. Since when were refreshes redesigns?

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Ugh…enough with these giant trucks. Please import the 70 series Land Cruiser pickup. Ill just hold my breath.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I’ll keep holding my breath for a F100 (and die of asphyxiation). The Ford Atlas made me weep for the Ranger.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        You have a better pulse on the internal leanings of FoMoCo than I do, but I expect that there will be some folks in Dearborn watching the sales results for GM’s upcoming new Canyon/Colorado pretty closely.

        If it looks like there will be a market for a smaller truck in the US, it shouldn’t be too hard to find plant capacity to build it here for the NA market.

        Plus, if the rumors are true that increased use of aluminum and/or magnesium in the next F-150 will result in a significant price jump, a case for a more affordable smaller truck that could also help with CAFE numbers could be made.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        The F100 did exist, it just got shuffled out the door. That was almost 6 years ago. Every time you hear of a delay or an overrun, a small volume program (niche/enthusiast program) dies.

        I hope you’re right.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        The Atlas is sooo bad. I would never be seen in such a vehicle. What a shame. The current F series pickups looks good.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      How small do you want full-size pickups? They’re full-size for a reason.. Look at the width of a full-size trailers. Or the width and mass of full-size cab-over campers. How about full-size utility beds or flatbeds. What’s the point of a narrow cab full-size pickup? Why not just buy a mid-size truck if that’s what you’re into?

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    10 years ago, auto writers were gleefully predicting Tundra and Titan “will wipe away Detroit’s last bastion”.

    Boy were they wrong. Coastal elites expected ‘fly overs’ to run to T/N dealers thinking they were not happy with their pickups. Umm, no.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Tundra was a competitive offering when this generation came out – in 2007. Toyota and Honda were able to steal marketshare from Detroit because they invested a lot into making the best passenger cars they could and didn’t stop evolving and improving them.

      Thankfully Detroit has gotten off of its heels and is competing hard in those segments now, but Toyota and Nissan are making the same mistake with trucks that Detroit made with cars – not paying attention and letting the market pass them by. Fullsize pickups are one of the most highly competitive segments in the US market, and you can’t keep trying to sell what is essentially the same vehicle as you sold in 2007, or in Nissan’s case 2004, and expect to lead the pack.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        I don’t think Toyota is stupid and they are pretty realistic.

        If Toyota showed a truck today that cured cancer, gave you a free handjob while driving it and was priced at $15,000 and towed 50,000 lbs…they couldn’t be #1 in trucks. Why?

        They can’t build enough. In order to be #1 in sales, you must be able to build enough of them. Toyota builds Tundras/Tacomas in San Antonio. I would imagine the plant is now well utilized after they adjusted from their grand plans in 2007.

        GM has three plants (big plants) cranking out Silverado/Sierra. I’m sure Ford has at least 3 as well…or 2 really, really big ones. Toyota has one plant.

        Toyota would have to invest hundreds of milllions of dollars to expand capacity to try and touch the 500,000-700,000 units they would need to build to even meet Ford/GM/Ram on trucks.

        They do not need to do that to make $$ on trucks. They would be rather stupid to do so given what they’ve learned about their share in the truck market.

        The sooner people on this site understand this….the better.

        Take an opposite example..the Chevy Cruze.

        If it was 100% proven by scientists that the Civic and Corolla caused impotence in males and made females gain 20 lbs, the Cruze could not jump from 230,000 units to 400,000 units plus to grab that volume…nor could Hyundai. Lordstown plant already runs three shifts and is very well utilized and cranks out 230,000 ish units per year.

        Cruze is priced well. Its not heavily incentivized. It sells well (not #1 or #2..but good) Its 20% fleet (just like Corolla) versus the 40% plus fleet that Cobalt had.

        Pick a segment. Price it right to the volume you expect to sell. Have capacity aligned to sales at solid ATP’s. Bring in profits. Have some flexibility to increase production through overtime adding shifts etc but be able to be profitable at your baseline demand.

        No OEM is #1 in every segment. Toyota is #4 in Trucks. Chevy is #4 in compact cars.

        http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2013/01/usa-december-2012-car-sales-figures.html

        Its okay…they are both making money there because of strong pricing and capacity near or at demand.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Sunridge –

        I agree with some of your points there. If Toyota is running at capacity in San Antonio and making money, perhaps they’re happy where they are. But let’s break the figures down a bit:

        2012 year end numbers were:

        F-Series: 645,000
        Silverado/Sierra/Avalanche: 600,000
        Ram: 293,000
        Tundra: 102,000

        Now, Ford, Dodge, and GM all include the heavy duty lines in those numbers. I don’t know how the sales break down for the 150/1500 line vs the others, but let’s make it easy and say that 50% of those sales are the 150/1500 line (the actual number is probably higher just from what I’ve seen). That still means that Ford and GM are selling 3 F-150s or Silverado/Sierra 1500s for every Tundra Toyota sells. Ford does have two big plants that build F-150s, Dearborn and Kansas City (Kansas City used to also do the Escape, which has sense moved production to Louisville, but will be picking up production of the full size T-Series vans).

        Toyota initially planned to build Tundras across two plants (Indiana and San Antonio) with San Antonio being fully dedicated to the Tundra. After NUMMI closed, Tacoma production was moved to San Antonio, and I don’t believe Toyota builds Tundras in Indiana any longer. So, while San Antonio might be running at capacity, it’s now the sole assembly plant for two models when it was originally designed to handle only a portion of the Tundra production.

        No one automaker will be number 1 in all segments, and Toyota has done the best of any of the imports when it comes to full size trucks (the Ridgeline was always an odd duck and Nissan has been neglecting the Titan completely for several years). That being said, I’m sure Toyota’s gameplan was never to be the perpetual runner up to the D3 offerings in that segment.

        I’m not saying the Tundra is a bad truck, or that Toyota isn’t capable of building one that would give Ford and GM a real run for their money, I’m just saying that the sales of the Tundra haven’t lived up to Toyota’s original goals, and that a lot of that has to do with Toyota not keeping up with updates to match what Ford and GM have been doing. Since the current Tundra was released in 2007, Ford has released a complete ground-up redesign in 2009, a complete new range of engines in 2011, and a facelift similar to what Toyota is now doing, in 2013.

        It’s not unreasonable to expect more than just a facelift six years into a models run when the competition is updating at twice or three times that speed.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Toyota launched ‘new’ Tundra in 2007 in the USA which means decisions were made in 2004-2007…maybe earlier when it comes to plants. They messed up. They didn’t see the crash coming. It happens and Toyota fixes their problems quickly for the most part.

        Research why the 2012 Civic was kind of cheap. They made a bet after the crash that the compact segment in the US would value low price versus high content and they lost that too…those bets were made and their car wasn’t up to par they adjusted quickly with a refresh…but that’s a key segment for them…it was worth the immediate investment to fix the problem.

        Your point is true:

        ‘I’m just saying that the sales of the Tundra haven’t lived up to Toyota’s original goals, and that a lot of that has to do with Toyota not keeping up with updates to match what Ford and GM have been doing. Since the current Tundra was released in 2007, Ford has released a complete ground-up redesign in 2009, a complete new range of engines in 2011, and a facelift similar to what Toyota is now doing, in 2013′

        Toyota bet wrong on trucks…but they adjusted quickly. They weren’t screwed like GM was back in the day with overcapcity of a staggering degree.

        You just have to understand that an all new model usually is a billion dollar expense and any OEM must measure those costs versus what they can sell and earn and how often they should make that investment.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Nullomodo – It’s hard to believe Toyota and Nissan can’t build better trucks and almost defiant about it. Or that the D3 can’t build cars equal to the Japanese. It doesn’t add up and there must have been a back door deal of some sort or an agreement between Japanese OEMs and D3.

        You say the 09 F-150 was a complete ground up redesign, but the cab and doors (sheet metal) seem about the same (except for the reg cabs went to full doors). I looked up used parts like windows and 2008s do interchange with 2009 to 2012.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @DenverMike

        What I’ve seen from you on here is that you are a car enthusiast for sure but not so much when it comes to the automotive business.

        How do you judge a car being ‘better’ than another car? Or, how do you judge a truck being ‘better’ than another truck?

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        I judge cars and trucks by quality, craftsmanship, style, looks, options, feel of the fabrics/textures, reliability, price/rebates, driving impressions performance, resale, engine/trans/rear end specs/options, Horse power/torque and the over feel to name a few.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Sunridge – From what you know about the automotive business, why are D3 truck sales so ridiculously strong while Japanese truck sales are so weak? And why are Japanese cars sales to strong and D3 (retail) car sales so weak?

        Also, why do you think Toyota has not invested “hundreds of millions of dollars to expand capacity” if they thought they could touch Ford/GM/Ram 500,000-700,000 trucks sales? Hundreds of millions invested could mean hundreds of billions in profits, no?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Toyota tends to grow organically, and is taking the long view.

        The large truck market is conservative. It is going to take TMC another 10-20 years to have any chance of hitting sale numbers that are comparable to GM or Ford.

        It took decades for Toyota to become a mainstream player in the US passenger car market, and they know it. The truck market is more entrenched than the car market ever could be. There’s no reason to build full-size Toyota trucks at F-150 level volumes when the demand isn’t yet there.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @DenverMike

        I tried this with you on the Corvette…I’m not going to try again with you.

        You think 40% of F-Series volume is King Ranch and Harley Davidson. I don’t have a clue how you came to that number and I don’t want to try if that’s what you think.

        You are an automotive enthusiast. Feel good about that. Just try not to comment too much on the business side.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @Nullo

        You forgot to add the 140,000 units of Tacoma production to your numbers. I’m not going to try and chase down the fact that all of that is in San Antonio..but most of it is.

        Thus, Toyota is utilized in San Antonio.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @sunridge – I was guessing it was “about 40%” (off the top of my head) total premium F-150 truck sales. I looked it up and it’s actually 30% if you want the link. We did discuss the Corvette and you proved you know very little about the business side.

        autoblog.com/2012/06/26/2013-ford-f-150-limited-unveiled-as-range-topping-luxury-truck/

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Pch101 – It does seem like Toyota and Nissan are purposely taking their sweet time saturating the US market with their fugly trucks. They’re not bad trucks, but they’re definitely mailing them in. It’s as if Toyota and Nissan don’t want to upset the balance or cause any backlash that could negatively affect their car sales. US trucks are sacred and US cars are getting almost good enough where we could live without Japanese cars. Almost. It’s a delicate balance and we’re crazy to think the Japanese don’t have their eye on the D3 truck market.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        As I sit on a conference call with offshore IT trying to move one of my projects forward, I guess I’ll continue.

        As I said, I went through this before…you have a problem with numbers.

        Problem 1: F-Series is more than F-150. Your link talks about F-150. Not F-250/F-350 etc.

        Problem 2: You claim that these 40% (now dropped to 30%) sales were over $45,000…yet the link you give talks about those trucks being in the $35,000-$50,000 range.

        We went thru this with the Corvette? Remember? The exact same number problem.

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/2014-chevrolet-corvette-stingray-worthy-of-the-name/

        Re-read it. Look at your problems with numbers.

        You said 40% of Ford sales were over $45,000 and up to $60,000 and give me a link saying 30% of Ford F150 truck sales are between $35,000-$50,000.

        You like cars and trucks…stick with that. Don’t try to talk business.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        You’re talking about a different conversation where some troll said the F-150 should be cancelled along with the E-series and Panthers. I mentioned the F-150 was extremely profitable and premium sales are quite high. I said “about 40%” off the top of my head. 30% premium isn’t bad, do you think??? We were talking round numbers and clearly I was being trolled. I didn’t remember the exact details so sue me. It wasn’t the focus of the conversation at the time.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        hey sunridge,

        Do you think that we can look at Dodge to gain insight into Toyota’s full size truck growth strategy? Dodge has been a constant, if far distant 3rd place player in the domestic truck market for a very long time, even considering things like bulletproof 318′s (thirsty, yes, but what truck isn’t), HEMI’s (who doesnt like a hemi for nostalgia if nothing else) the fantastic Cummins I6, and advancing the big rig styling, among other qualities.

        Seeing Dodge’s struggle against Ford and GM, perhaps Toyota is just being “realistic”. People will still buy this new Tundra, even if not in droves, but enough to make it vialbe for Toyota’s long term plan.

        Disclaimer: I am an enthusiast (especially of technical details) with little knowledge of the business side but keen interest.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @davefromcalgary

        Chrysler used their bankruptcy to get rid of some overcapacity and a Ram plant in St. Louis was one of the hits.

        http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2009379368_apuschryslerstlouisplant.html

        Its hard to call any vehicle that sells almost 300,000 units (as the Ram did the last couple of years) as ‘struggling.’ Yes, it doesn’t sell at Ford/GM levels. Chrysler got their truck capacity right during the bankruptcy and probably makes more money on the 300,000 units they sell now than they did on the 400,000 units they sold in the mid-2000′s.

        No way they could build 600,000 units plus that Ford/GM can. They know it and adjusted accordingly.

        The truck business is big on loyalty…but that doesn’t mean they don’t try like hell to steal the other brands customers.

        Chrysler knows their place and would be very stupid to spend the hundreds of millions if not billion dollars to expand capacity on trucks back up to previous levels only to have to discount all their trucks even more.

        Of course, they all try to grow…but that’s a big gap between Toyota and Ram….and a big gap between Ram and Ford/GM.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Wrong. Toyota knows if it took the truck market away from Detroit, the UAW rage would cause the Obama administration to launch a wave of recall attacks among other regulatory actions against Toyota. So, Toyota keeps their powder dry. Expect no Toyota assault on the truck market as long as Democrats with streaks of communism populate our executive branch.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        PCH raised an important point “It took decades for Toyota to become a mainstream player in the US passenger car market, and they know it. The truck market is more entrenched than the car market ever could be.”
        However my take is that for consumers there is a “push” and a “pull” – meaning consumers need to have been pushed away from their current brand by bad reliability or other issues and then pulled into a new brand. The D3 pushed car customers away in the 70′s-2000′s and Toyota, Honda and others pulled those customers in with superior reliability. For Toyota to be #1 in the truck market they don`t just need to pull people in with a great truck they need the D3 to push their customers away. There is no sign that the D3 are doing that. They have learnt their lesson.
        This is also the reason why the Fusion, Malibu, Cruze, Focus etc will be #1 in their segments because however good those cars may be Toyota and Honda have not pushed away their customers with bad cars (maybe not class leading, but not bad cars in the absolute sense).

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      chicagoland, your sparked a very interesting discussion with your comment and I agree with you that the auto writers were wrong in their forecast, prediction and analysis of the future of the Tundra.

      However, I see the Tundra (and the Titan) as an option for those who do not wish to own a Ford, GM or RAM. Freedom of choice is a great thing! We should cherish it.

      I was delighted to have the freedom of choice when I bought my 2011 Tundra, and I hope to have the choice again when I trade it off for something new in 2014 or 2015.

      That said, the sale of every new Tundra or Titan or RAM takes one away from Ford or GM (since RAM is now a foreign-owned company like Tundra and Titan are).

      I don’t see the 2014 Tundra as being nearly as revolutionary as the 2007 Tundra was. The 2014 Tundra is more evolutionary than anything else.

      And unless Ford, GM or RAM offer something better than my 2011 Tundra 5.7 when I go to trade, I would be inclined to buy another Tundra, based on my excellent ownership experience.

      (I don’t work for Toyota but I’m selective in how I spend what little money I do have. I stick with what works for me.)

  • avatar
    cargogh

    The only person I know that owns a Tundra (bought new two years ago) is my mom’s friend, Lola.
    She uses it to pull her horse in a trailer.

    • 0 avatar

      This actually makes a complete sense. I knew a guy whose daughter was into equisterian competitions. They didn’t have stables. He pulled her trailer with a Cherokee, for a time, but then gave up and bought a Suburban. Some applications just need the capacity.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      In the 7 figure enclaves on the east and west coast, you frequently see Tundra trucks. But, they are being used as a passenger vehicle. They are rarely used by the working class crowd. Seems like the union mentality of the plumbers and framers and the rest of the building trade buy UAW made products.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “In the 7 figure enclaves on the east and west coast, you frequently see Tundra trucks.”

        Really? Where? In the high income towns I’ve been in where there are any trucks to comment about, the trucks are F-250s and above for horse trailers. By the way, name any of these 7-figure enclaves.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        In Edmonton, (front line major city of Canada’s oil sands) its actually quite common to see the Escalade EXT with 6.2L big block pressed into service towing. Many many big 3 diesel pickups as well. Tundra’s definitely seem to get the least harsh service. Common to see them with a box cap and ladders, more of a trademan’s vehicle with a nice interior than a heavy duty hauler.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @DenverMike
    You talk rubbish. You are a troll.

    Trailer??????? I go to the US very frequently and my family lives in NJ. Tell what proportion of your 1/2 ton trucks actually do more than serve as a daily driver/SUV/hot rod.

    Your pickups are protected by trade barriers. They have to be if our mid sizers came over the Big 3 would find it awkward to turn a profit.

    My BT50 has 350ftlb of torque and pulls about 30mpg on the highway. How many in your country would like that? It can tow 7 500lbs and carry 2 600lbs.

    It’s a shame the US doesn’t recieve the utes we have. They are missing out in some of the best pickups on offer.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @Big Al from Oz – Actually if our half tons were readily available in Australia, they would absolutely dominate your Ute market and even steal sales from cars. Don’t pretend Australians are some how more sophisticated than Americans. Take that somewhere else. Given the same quality US half tons at Australian Ford dealers, at the same price as your Utes, no poorly executed RHD conversions, full warranty, dealer support, etc, etc… They quickly would dominate the Australian market. Sorry, we’re not so different. What you have now is limited access and for sure, making the best of what’s available.

      Nothing is keeping the world’s Utes from the US. That is except they wouldn’t stand a chance side by side with US half tons. Foreign Ute OEMs know this. Absolutely nothing was stopping the Mahindra, technically or otherwise, from coming to America.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        “@Big Al from Oz – Actually if our half tons were readily available in Australia, they would absolutely dominate your Ute market and even steal sales from cars.”

        What absolute rubbish!!. @Denvermike You have absolutely no idea of markets outside the US. Going by your posts not much idea of the market preferences in the US as well.
        The demand for US Pickups is tiny outside NA. Manufacturers know this. It is people like you who think they know better than the manufacturers.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    While the current Tundra was ranked as the best large pickup by Consumer Reports, I could not stand the looks of it. This new Tundra looks great.

    Concerning GM and Ford trucks, I like the looks of the 13s, but strongly dislike the looks of the 14 GM … and I dislike the looks of the next gen Ford trucks.

    Who would of thought the crown of the best looking pickup would switch from the domestics to Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      I’m the opposite. I like the soft curves of the current Tundra and think the design sets it apart from all the gazillions of squared off trucks on the road. I’m in an American-pickup heavy part of the country and seeing a Tundra for every 200 Fords is a breath of fresh air.

    • 0 avatar
      jjster6

      jimmyy,

      I was with you on the 2014 GM interiors until I saw them in the flesh at the NAIAS. For some reason the pictures just don’t do the interior justice. It looks so much better IRL. Your mileage may vary.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @DenverMike
    You are talking crap again. The quality of US manufactured vehicles is lower than the quality of vehicles coming out of Korea. Let alone competing with Euro/Japanese or even Australian vehicles.

    Chrysler in Australia can only compete with our Korean imports. The pricing suggests this also. As does the way the US vehicles are optioned.

    In Australia there are two countries that produce vehicles of lesser quality and that is India and China.

    Pickups in the US are keeping the Big 3 alive. This can only occur through the US’s socialist trade barriers ie CAFE/EPA and Chicken tax.

    We’ve had this discussion previously. It’s good to be patriotic towards your country, but you must be realistic also.

    From your writings it appears you haven’t seen much of the world outside of your state or even county.

    Use the internet to “travel” and obtain an idea on what is going on outside of the US. Being US centric creates flaws about the global environment in which you live (outside of your county).

    Most vehicles in the US are using imported technology and design. The main US designed and manufactured vehicle is your 1/2 ton pickup. As you stated we are not much different than the US, that supports my view that our mid sizers would sell well in the US.

    What is the global use of US 1/2 ton pickups?

    As I have stated you don’t have any decent global mid sizers to choose from because of trade barriers, not because you pickups are that great.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    Hey Big Al someone needs to knock that chip off your shoulder! Seriously what do you know about what PU buyers want in the US market anyways? And what could you possibly know about the reliability or build quality of a 1/2 ton domestic PU? I’d say your completely clueless on both counts but your not even that informed.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Outside of North America (the US, Canada and Northern Mexico) you see very, very, very few American-made pickup trucks from Ford, GM, RAM, Toyota and Nissan in the rest of the world.

      Mostly what you see is Toyota trucks made outside of North America because they are durable and, most of all, reliable. Toyota trucks are everywhere and on every continent, because they are that good. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t sell, just like American-made pickup trucks don’t sell outside of North America.

      For those of us who traveled the world because of the US military, or whatever, the lack of acceptance of US-made cars and trucks by foreigners is self-evident. You see a lot of foreign brands on America’s roads, but very few American brands on foreign roads.

      Other than some Americans living and working overseas, very few foreigners choose to buy a yank tank, land yacht or yank-built truck. There are lots of trucks from different manufacturers, just very few American manufacturers.

      In England, Holland and Belgium, the places I visited most recently, Bedford trucks from the nineteen fifties and sixties are still doing daily duty as delivery vehicles. Some may even sport a new paintjob to ward of rust but their vintage is without doubt fifties.

      I concluded a long time ago that everyman’s cars and trucks made for North America are engineered to go 65mph and with a finite life-span, whereas cars made for the rest of the planet, i.e. Europe, Australia, Asia and South America are engineered sturdier to last longer and return a better value for the money, yet with minimum maintenance and repair.

      The Tundra is a pickup truck designed and engineered for the North American market. They are not designed to compete anywhere else. But for the discerning pickup truck owner, the Tundra offers a viable alternative. It won me over from being a decades-long Silverado and F150 owner.

      American-made vehicles work for America, but it doesn’t mean that they’re equally well-accepted every where else on the planet. Big Al makes that point, albeit in his own unique way.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Highdesrtcat,
        It would be shock to the system to many from NA how Commercial vehicles operate outside NA.
        The “Bedford” to those who are not aware of it was a GM Truck/Van not Ford despite the name
        Bedford made Trucks , Vans (precursor to current GM van), Pickups and Coaches from 1930 to 1980. They were the most profitable GM subsidiary outside of NA.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedford_Vehicles

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        the old “Chevrolet Bedford”

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        RobertRyan, the band I played in during my off-duty time while stationed in Germany, bought a used Bedford Van to haul our band equipment to the various gigs we played at military bases in Germany, Holland and Belgium.

        For the eight years I was stationed in Germany, we changed a lot of band members, but through it all, we kept that old Bedford running. And the last time I visited Germany, my wife’s grand uncle still used it for his car dealership. Same dark blue exterior paint, although the exterior paint was new. The interior had been redone in pleated naugahyde. It looked a great deal better than when my band used it.

        Yet all the American cars and trucks abandoned by the US-military downsizing in Europe have already been crushed, with maybe the exception of Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds and Datsun 240Zs.

        I did see several antique muscle cars still being driven around by proud German owners or collectors of muscle cars. The distinctive smell of motor oil and raw gas was evident when you drove behind them. No doubt the result of carburetors and worn valve seats and rings.

        The last time I went to visit the old guy, there were no American pickup trucks of any brand on his parts heap, nor on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Carlson Fan. Big Al from Oz is originally from the US, his Mothers side of the family live in NJ.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Anyone who believes that the chicken tax is a formidable barrier must not know anything about it.

    The chicken tax is a non-factor. For pickups in particular, it is easily avoided.

    Toyota, Datsun, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi all used imported trucks to establish themselves in the US. They didn’t pay the chicken tax.

    The workarounds pose no difficulty. For example, Toyota would ship the trucks without beds attached, and would then bolt them on when they arrived at the dock. Without a bed attached on arrival, it wasn’t a truck for tariff purposes, and voila, no chicken tax.

    I’m guessing that Big Al is under the impression that the chicken tax keeps his beloved Aussie utes out of the US. Al is probably too busy typing his rants to know that Australian-made trucks are exempted from the chicken tax due to the US-Australia free trade agreement. The tariff on Aussie imports is zero.

    The US used to have its own versions of the ute. We stopped making them for a reason — Americans don’t want them anymore, no matter where they’re made.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Pch101
    “I’m guessing that Big Al is under the impression that the chicken tax keeps his beloved Aussie utes out of the US. Al is probably too busy typing his rants to know that Australian-made trucks are exempted from the chicken tax”

    Big Al is not talking about Holden/Ford Utes, but Global 3 Litre diesels that are subject to the Chicken Tax. The Diesels have to be changed to meet US pollution requirements which are different to the current Global Euro V, will be Euro VI.

    GM has decided to bring the diesel Colorado to the US. Ford and Chrysler are bringng the European diesel Vans to the US. I woould expect the “chicken tax” to eventually go.

    “Anyone who believes that the chicken tax is a formidable barrier must not know anything about it.”

    It is a fairly huge impediment for most manufacturers, they either had to rebuild a vehicle in the US i.e Ford vans from Turkey or change the engine. i.e New Colorado.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “It is a fairly huge impediment for most manufacturers, they either had to rebuild a vehicle in the US i.e Ford vans from Turkey or change the engine. i.e New Colorado.”

      This comment makes it clear that you don’t understand what the chicken tax is or what it does.

      The chicken tax is not a tax on emissions. It’s a tax on “trucks,” as defined by the regulations (which isn’t necessarily what a “truck” is to the rest of us). As I have noted, the chicken tax has enough loopholes to drive a truck through it. Pickups have been imported to the US for decades without any chicken tax being paid. Ford plays some games to avoid paying the chicken tax on the Transit vans, yet still manages to sell them in the US for less than what the Brits have to pay for them (even when VAT is taken into account.)

      The US has separate emissions regulations that apply to everyone. These emissions rules have nothing to do with the chicken tax. It makes no difference where the vehicle is produced; domestically built vehicles have the same emissions rules as do the imports.

      The US has been a leader in vehicle smog controls, and it’s frankly not our problem if you have a preference for dirtier air.

      I don’t know what you’ve been reading, but a lot of your impressions are wrong. There is a segment of the American population that is quite fond of their big pickup trucks, and I can assure you that they have no inclination to be convinced by Australians that their preferences are misguided.

      Meanwhile, diesel is not popular here for passenger car and light truck applications. Sorry, but it just isn’t, it never has been, and I doubt that it ever will be.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Pch101
        “This comment makes it clear that you don’t understand what the chicken tax is and what it does.”

        It is obvious you do not. You cannot modify a vehicle to avoid the truck tax if the engines does not comply. No amount of rebuilding is going to get around a non-compliant engine. You can replace the diesel with a Turbo engine, but that is still a major modification, that is more than dropping in a new engine.

        “The US has been a leader in vehicle smog controls, and it’s frankly not our problem if you have a preference for dirtier air.”

        What stupid arrogance and ignorance. US diesels are illegal in a Euro V environment,they can be sold into any Euro V or Euro V1 environment.

        “I don’t know what you’ve been reading, but a lot of your impressions are wrong. There is a segment of the American population that is quite fond of their big pickup trucks, and I can assure you that they have no inclination to be convinced by Australians that their preferences are misguided.”

        I am not Big Al From Oz , Yes I know that.

        “Meanwhile, diesel is not popular here for passenger car and light truck applications. Sorry, but it just isn’t, it never has been, and I doubt that it ever will be.”

        In 3 yrs Diesel cars, not Pickups increased by 50% in sales here. I expect you could find the same thing happeing in the US. Well at least GM/Ford and Chrysler hope you do.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The chicken tax is a tax on “trucks” (and a fairly irrelevant matter), not a tax on emissions.

        Emission rules apply to all vehicles, regardless of where they’re made.

        I’m assuming that you’ve spent little or no time in the US, but at one time, the US was packed to the gills with imported compact pickups. The chicken tax did not keep them out of the market, obviously, since they came here by the boatload and were often sold at low prices. But those trucks have largely fallen out of fashion.

        “What stupid arrogance and ignorance.”

        The US maximum for NOx emissions is less than half of what is permitted in Europe. I’m pretty sure that you were ignorant of that.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Pch101 wrote.
        “The chicken tax is a tax on “trucks” (and a fairly irrelevant matter), not a tax on emissions.”
        So rebuilding a vehicle to allow it to avoid an “irrelevant” tax is normal. Does not sound to inconsequential to me.
        “The chicken tax is a non-factor. For pickups in particular, it is easily avoided.

        Toyota, Datsun, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi all used imported trucks to establish themselves in the US. They didn’t pay the chicken tax. ”

        So that explains why they started building them in the US to get around the Chicken Tax?? They certainty did pay the Chicken Tax till ,they had to dissamble and reassamble them in the US. To void the tax eventually they had to produce them in the US

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I don’t know how else to explain it to you in a way that you’ll understand, but they didn’t pay the chicken tax. Seriously. It wasn’t a big deal; lots of imported trucks have been sold here with no problem and no tax.

        Perhaps you aren’t familiar with what a “loophole” is. Allow me to help you:

        loop·hole

        2. : a means of escape; especially : an ambiguity or omission in the text through which the ***intent of a statute, contract, or obligation may be evaded***

        As for building US factories, the US market has its own vehicle preferences that are often not well served by “world cars”. As a result, automakers that find success here build factories here, so that they can build vehicles that Americans will buy.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Cargogh said “the old “Chevrolet Bedford”

    Actually it is GM, nothing to do with Chevrolet. Although some Bedford DNA has made it’s way into the current Chevrolet and GMC vans.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Carlson Fan
    I have a realitively good idea what pickup buyers want in the US, my family lives there. The people who have never left the US don’t know what the remaining 6.7 billion people are doing around them. You appear to be one of them.

    @Pch101
    I can see we are going to lock horns frequently on TTAC.

    The reality is the pickup market in the US is extremely protected by the use of regulations. This is to protect the Big 3, in particular your pickup market.

    Have a read on how Detroit “fudges” its mpg’s by the use of vehicle similar to PT Cruisers, SUVs etc, because they are treated as “trucks”.

    Look at your ridiculous CAFE footprint standards, they are encouraging pickups to be larger. Look at the Ford Atlas, that will be the size of your new 1/2 ton pickups.

    Read up on your EPA standards, diesel is disadvantaged by the method to measure NOx and it places lesser importance on CO2. Ford is going to run the 3.2 Duratorque in the Transits. These engines can’t be used in the Euro Transits because they don’t meet Euro V emission standards. The Skyactive diesel is working well in the Eurozone, but can’t run on your poorer quality diesel.

    The improvement to your EPA diesel mpg and emission standards have to improve at a much greater rate than gasoline in some cases 50% per year.

    The Chicken Tax, where are the Chinese pickup? They are available worldwide. We can get a Great Wall diesel, leather, power everything 4×4 twin cab driveaway for under $30 000.

    Foton (Chinsese) has just released a Tunland pickup for $36 000 with the same equipment as the Great Wall. Except it has a 2.8 Cummins diesel, Getrag gearbox, Borg Warner tx case, Dana rearend, Bosch electronics. Not bad for Chinese. They are slightly larger than the global Ranger.

    It has a few bugs which will be ironed out quickly.

    Look at your vehicle regulations, they are different to every other country in the world to protect your industry. And is it advantagous to have different standards. No. Look at your fatalities it is nearly or more than double most other OECD economies.

    The Colorado is already designed, why does it take 2 years for a “redesign” for the American market? Doesn’t that tell you that your trucks are different. The funny thing is it has a 5 star ENCAP and ANCAP.

    You guys in the US only look at your mid sizers and judge that what the world has, but we don’t. Your best selling mid sizer (Taco) is about 2 generations older than our new mid sizers and is on par with our cheapest Chinese pickup.

    In all honesty after going to the US several times a year I do think the latest generation of global mid sizers we get are a much better vehicle than your 1/2 ton trucks. They are safer, much more economical and pollute less, more capable off road. And can basically do what most of what your half ton pickups do. It’s ashame the new Colorado will be Americanised so it isn’t competitive against the full size trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “We can get a Great Wall diesel, leather, power everything 4×4 twin cab driveaway for under $30 000.”

      You pay high prices for vehicles in Australia. That is the byproduct of being a peripheral market with a long history of tariffs.

      In the US, we can buy a locally built truck for less money, plus get a fat rebate to sweeten the deal. You should be so lucky.

      I know that you are just filled with your anti-government rants and you feel compelled to share them with the world. Unfortunately, it’s pretty clear that you’re too busy typing to learn actual facts about the business.

      You’ve completely missed the boat on the US situation. The major barriers to the US market are not tariffs (which are lower than yours — nobody pays the chicken tax) or regulation, but well established players that offer us vehicles that we like at low prices.

      We pay so little for vehicles compared to the rest of the world that it makes it difficult for smaller players to compete here. The cost of doing business here is high because the market area is large and demands infrastructure to serve it, such as large dealer networks. This makes doing business in the US an all-or-nothing affair, which demands considerable investment and creates much risk for new entrants with no brand recognition.

      The downside to paying low prices is a limitation on variety. The lower margins call for higher volumes, which in turn will limit what is offered.

      The US large truck market is also quite conservative. US buyers are loyal to familiar brands, and it is difficult even for Toyota to make inroads into it. The Chinese would fail miserably here, and they’re smart not to try. Chinese goods have a certain stigma here; it’s assumed that they’re of low quality, while domestic trucks have considerable credibility among American consumers. You may not get it, but we do, and it’s our opinion that matters.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Pch101 wrote:
    “You pay high prices for vehicles in Australia. That is the byproduct of being a peripheral market with a long history of tariffs”

    Absolutely nothing to do with it. Australian tarrifs are lower than US Ones. The Size of the US market is very different ,being vastly larger and allowing lower prices.

    “You’ve completely missed the boat on the US situation. The major barriers to the US market are not tariffs (which are lower than yours — nobody pays the chicken tax) or regulation, but well established players that offer us vehicles that we like at low prices.

    We pay so little for vehicles compared to the rest of the world that it makes it difficult for smaller players to compete here. The cost of doing business here is high because the market area is large and demands infrastructure to serve it, such as large dealer networks. This makes doing business in the US an all-or-nothing affair, which demands considerable investment and creates much risk for new entrants with no brand recognition.”

    Exactly ,but makes US vehicles extremely uncompetitive elsewhere. If you are satisfying i.e the NA market and nothing else , the vehicles are tailered to that market and not relevant to anyone else market.

    “. The cost of doing business here is high because the market area is large and demands infrastructure to serve it, such as large dealer networks. This makes doing business in the US an all-or-nothing affair, which demands considerable investment and creates much risk for new entrants with no brand recognition.”

    That is not just a US problem but applies to virtually all countries.

    “The downside to paying low prices is a limitation on variety. The lower margins call for higher volumes, which in turn will limit what is offered”

    Very True but as you have stated you get very low prices.

    “The US large truck market is also quite conservative. US buyers are loyal to familiar brands, and it is difficult even for Toyota to make inroads into it”

    Which pretty well sums the fact the vehicles are only made for one market. Not a problem if the demand stays steady or is rising.

    The problem is as far as GM, Ford and Chrysler/Fiat are concerned there are niches NOT being served by the current inventory of vehicles and they have decided to import and assemble global vehicles to meet that demand.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The US import tariff on passenger cars is 2.5%.

      The Australian tariff is 5%.

      I’m pretty sure that my calculator is correct when it states that 5% is higher than 2.5%.

      But more to the point, whereas the US tariff rate has been stable, Australia has a long history of high tariffs, with a rate that peaked at almost 50%.

      These tariffs had the effect of elevating all car prices, both foreign and domestic. The impact of that will not disappear overnight.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Pch101
        “The US import tariff on passenger cars is 2.5%.

        The Australian tariff is 5%. ”

        Really we have free trade agreements with the US and Thailand plus other countries. Then again we do not havethe size of the US market which affects prices more than any sort of tariffs. By the way what is the tariff applied to vehicles coming from outside NAFTA?

        “But more to the point, whereas the US tariff rate has been stable, Australia has a long history of high tariffs, with a rate that peaked at almost 50%. ”

        The “Chicken Tax” which have admitted to still exists is a restriction on trade . Like to enlighten everyone how much that adds to the cost of vehicles. it is not inconsiderable as companies go out of their way to avoid it.

        Incorrecv

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “By the way what is the tariff applied to vehicles coming from outside NAFTA?”

        2.5%. Less than yours.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Pch101 said:
    ““By the way what is the tariff applied to vehicles coming from outside NAFTA?”

    2.5%. Less than yours.”
    Really ?? Does not apply to Vans, Pickups and Trucks. Cost of ‘avoiding ” the “2.5% tariff is ripping a vehicle to pieces and rebuilding it. Real cheap that.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Pch101
    “I don’t know how else to explain it to you in a way that you’ll understand, but they didn’t pay the chicken tax. Seriously. It wasn’t a big deal; lots of trucks have been sold here with no problem and no tax.”

    They initially paid the Chicken tax. It was not the Asian manufacturers war.It was a dispute about agricultural subsidies and the EU versus the US. Everyone else who makes a Pickup outside NAFTA has been caught up in it.

    The US local brand preferences (as you stated previously)certainly hinders Asian manufacturers making much of a dint in the US market.Still it appears they are making profits on what they produce.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Pch101
    I probably realise the costs difference between our countries better than you. And I also have a better understanding why this occurs.

    Do we pay more? I don’t think so. It is like someone from Mexico saying the Americans pay more and we have it better, but is this true?

    It’s all relative.

    A $30k AUD Great Wall pickup would sell for $23k USD. But remember this pickup is a diesel, leather, power everything, twin cab and believe it or not a 4×4. The 2 lite diesel is nearly developing the same kw and torque as a 3 litre Hilux diesel.

    These vehicles are built on a Surf Chassis (like a Taco), Izuzu body (similar to the Dmax/Colorado and Mitsubishi drivetrain) all proven stuff and as modern as your current choice of pickups.

    The $36k AUD Foton Tunland would sell for about $28k USD, with a Cummins and all of the above equipment.

    And you are going to tell me that wouldn’t rock the boat in the US. That’s why you have a chicken tax. The pickup truck component of the Chicken Tax was rolled in to slow down the Mini Truck invasion from the Japanese.

    Like I have stated, get into your EPA site and read on the emission requirements and difference between improvements in regards to gasoline and diesel.

    Have a good understanding of your CAFE regulations. Have a close look at your vehicle design regulations etc. The changes to your vehicles design regulations started in the early 50s to stop cheap Euro imports.

    The problem is Detroit has become so reliant on these barriers that they have become inefficient and isolated. This is supported by the amount of imported technology in US vehicles.

    Even though US manufactured vehicle quality has improved it is still 2 decades behind Asia and Europe.

    Also remember the amount of subisidisation that occurs in your auto manufacturing market. All those rebates someone has to pay for. Is it wise to have this.

  • avatar

    Calling the chicken tax “fairly irrelevant” takes a lot of gall, and it is an insult to the intelligence of the TTAC reader. If the tax would indeed be irrelevant, why is it still here in the first place? Why are Detroit and the UAW desperately clinging to that allegedly irrelevant tax?

    Just the opposite is true. The chicken tax created one of the world’s largest protected markets, it protects outrageous Detroit profits. The importation of light trucks to the U.S. came, for all intents and purposes, to a halt. The price is paid by the American consumer. According to the New York Times, “auto companies can earn up to $10,000 in profit on each pickup they sell, which is considerably more than on most passenger cars and sport utility vehicles.”

    Detroit is screaming about the allegedly closed Japanese auto market, and it has a hard time coming up with proof. In reality, the anti-Japanese rhetoric is all about maintaining the chicken tax, which would drop as part of a free trade agreement.

    The infamous CAR study, commissioned by the American Automotive Policy Council, writes about the chicken tax which would drop as a result of a free trade agreement: “The elimination of this tariff as the result of an FTA between Japan and the United States could still result in a significant increase in exports of Japanese truck models with fuel efficient engines. “

    Detroit is not only worried about a “significant increase in exports of Japanese truck models” it also is worried that their “fuel efficient engines” could be nicer to consumers’ wallets and to the environment.

    Saying that “the chicken tax has enough loopholes to drive a truck through it” is another shameless lie. The Transit Connect story is a brilliant propaganda piece to show that the tax does not have teeth, but it remains propaganda. Throwing widows and seats on a landfill to save thousands of dollars in taxes only makes sense when imported volume is small. The Transit Connect is only 2.4 percent of Ford’s annual truck volume. If anything about the chicken tax is irrelevant, then the numbers of units that bypass the tariff.

    The chicken tax protects Detroit from imported trucks with fuel efficient engines. Says CAR and the American Automotive Policy Council. If they say it, it must be true. The chicken tax helps Detroit extracting $10,000 profits per truck from American farmers and construction workers.

    The chicken tax was a pre-election deal between the UAW and Lyndon Johnson. 50 years later, we are still paying for it.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The Chicken Tax would be “irrelevant” if the trucks would sell good. They won’t, but there’s more to it than that.

      We had the mini-truck craze and now it’s long gone, but before it went away, they were highly competitive with full-size trucks in quality, content, etc. It didn’t matter. The Chicken Tax wasn’t slowing down Mahindra one bit. A knock down kit and you’re off and running.

      The few global pickups that would sell, would be mostly stripper base models and mostly to fleet buyers. Not a great business model and foreign OEMs know this (up and down). Many compact truck buyers cross-shop them with base Sentras, Civics (and the like) as basic, no frills transportation. Not so with full-size.

      The few actual retail buyers looking for a compact truck aren’t wishing for a luxo edition. Compact truck will never be a fashion statement or a cowboy BMW. Remember the Ford Ranger King Ranch?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Denver gets this one right. The American truck market is unique; trucks built elsewhere on this planet don’t suit our tastes, while the large trucks that are popular here sell poorly outside of North America. The vehicle cultures are very different.

        The chicken tax doesn’t keep out large imported trucks that Americans want simply because those trucks aren’t built outside of NAFTA. Toyota and Nissan built theirs here because this is where the market is (and they have trouble selling them, given the brand loyalty of that market.)

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Bertel Schmitt,
      Excellent summary of the problem.I can see it as Detroit’s way of keeping their most important product :Pickups profitable. When you are getting 90% of your global profits from them, then it is vital that you restrict anything that may damage that relationship

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yep, Bertel really knows his stuff. Some of the people who choose to comment certainly can have their say although their comments seem to be incomplete. And they often lack the breadth and depth of the industry that Bertel possesses.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Pch101
    I failed to mention that is only selling a few thousand units per annum. Even if they sold at our rate that would be between 40k and 50k per year. So it would be less than $20k per Great Wall in the US.

    American wouldn’t accept Chinese products. That is a ridiculous statement. I went to Lowes, Walmart, Sears. Chinese products everywhere, just like when I go to Asia, Europe or elsewhere.

    In the 60s if I told someone with your mentality that Japanese vehicles will sell in the US, you would have stated “what after Pearl Harbour”.

    Get realistic, the globe runs on money and money talks. Just look at all the subsidies that the politicians roll out to the Big 3 and elsewhere. It seems I’ll be teaching economics, but I’ll start with the basics.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @PcH101
    “Denver gets this one right. The American truck market is unique; trucks built elsewhere on this planet don’t suit our tastes, while the large trucks that are popular here sell poorly outside of North America. The vehicle cultures are very different.

    Correct. They would not sell anywhere else as @Highdesertcat noticed in his travels overseas.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’s too easy to state that what’s not offered for sale in Gemany (for example) would never sell there. If NA buys up to 2 million full-size pickups a year, isn’t it crazy to assume the rest of the world would not buy a healthy amount of full-size pickups (and SUVs built on the same lines) if sold side by side with mid-size global offerings around the world?

      It would get highly political, especially in Germany. And wasn’t the Micro Bus truck originally the main focus of the Chicken Tax? Do you think many countries would over look the existance of Chicken Tax before allowing US full-size trucks to sell there? Isn’t the Chicken Tax doing more harm than good for US OEMs? Especially now that they’re thinking Globally?

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        You certainly can (or at least have been able to) buy full-size pickup trucks in Western Europe. The sales have been minuscule, though, except where local tax rules have distorted the market in their favour.

        Being able to sell vehicle X in country Y doesn’t mean that consumers in that country will want to buy it.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Highdesertcat
    “RobertRyan, the band I played in during my off-duty time while stationed in Germany, bought a used Bedford Van to haul our band equipment to the various gigs we played at military bases in Germany, Holland and Belgium.”

    Bedford Trucks have disappeared here but I saw recently a 1985 Seddon-Atkinson still hauling Rocks from a quarry. Those things were built like tanks.FIAT/ IVECO acquired the company and they stopped making them in 2004.
    http://static.commercialmotor.com/big-lorry-blog/Atki2.jpg

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @DenverMike
    Again, wow.

    The chicken tax stopped the importation of highly competitive trucks, period.

    To maintain the protection of the Big 3, government, unions used CAFE/EPA and design regulations to further impede the manufacturing of diesel mid sizers.

    Quality? What quality does the US trucks have in comparison to the Asian trucks. You wouldn’t have a clue. If you think US vehicles are high quality then you have never left the US.

    Even the BMWs made in the US are of a lower build quality than our GMHs and Fords. We actually get foreign cars made in foreign countries.

    Last year in Vegas for work I drove a F-250 Super Duty dual cab. Great and powerful. Useful, very under utilised potential. The build quality was atrocious.

    My BT50GT is the high end pickup for Mazda. It’s quality is compared to a MX-9, that is made in Japan. Your pickups are a couple of decades from achieving that type of quality.

    As for you misguided beliefs. If our diesel mid sizers came to the States I would imagine at least a 50% drop in full size sales within a few years. Don’t compare our mid sizers to your mid sizers, they are two completely different vehicles in both quality and performance.

    Why would the Big 3 want a mid sizer to outperform a half ton pickup?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      No, I said the quality and content of mini-trucks were comparable to full-size when they started falling out of favour/fashion. As for the F-250 you experienced, it doesn’t sound like it was a newer, premium model and more like a work truck that’s been beat on. It does make a difference and work truck don’t receive the same level QC as premium models for obvious reasons. Tell me it’s different at Toyota factories? As far as my work trucks go, no one is giving Ford any competition I’m not looking for a Lexus build. That’s actually the absolute least of my concerns when buying a truck, even one personal use so why should Ford make it a priority? 3/4 tons just have to beat other brands, but they’re pretty good as of late and no one is cross shopping them with Lexus.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @DenverMike
    It was a mid spec truck with less than 10 000 on the clock from a hire company. No dents or damage.

    My mother last year bought a Focus, she lives in the US. The interior is terrible. The plastics look like something from the 80s. The secondary areas in the trunk are showing surface rust.

    My brother bought a US manufactured Kia Soul. The difference between it and the Ford is significant. The Kia still isn’t produced to the same quality as our Kia’s from Korea.

    A protected market is the only way this can occur.

    Your reasoning for build quality is an excuse. It was only last week you stated that US pickups if imported into Australia would take the market with US quality. Now you say poorer quality is acceptable.

    Why shouldn’t work trucks recieve the same quality as a car? Maybe be your attitude, but you don’t know any different. Why not do the best you can. Not the least to sell.

    That is why the US vehicle market needs to deregulate or regulate like the rest of the OECD.

    The US then would be designing vehicles that the globe would want and then export. The US would challenge the other global markets with technology. Deregulation can only benefit.

    The Dodge Rampage would make an awesome global mid sizer if it sat on a full chassis that suited the global market. That would sell globally, especially with a VM 3 litre V6 diesel. But the build quality will have to improve over Chrysler/Ram/Jeep current standards.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I’ve never seen so much sniveling over work truck panel gaps and door panel textures. And this from an alleged truck guy? No one in NA is as concerned and I hardly think your ultra delicate palate represents work truck buyers anywhere in the world. Or compact disposable cars buyers for that matter. And who uses words like “atrocious” anyways?

      When I say quality, I mean a truck that’s designed and put together for zero down time, user friendly, fits like a glove, has the features and content I want/need and gets us home safe every time.

      Still, you’re talking about one work truck and you’re not sure how hard it’s been used or abused for 10,000 miles. I do know that work trucks don’t leave the factory with the same attention to detail as Lariat or King Ranch pickups, but that’s true of Toyota work trucks as well. Who are you kidding?

      You (or your partner RF) said the US trucks that were sold in Australia were of poor quality. I just mentioned those were built in South America, RHD converted and not US specific. Either way, both of you are known to be on the American car and truck industry jihad on TTAC and PUTC (that I know of) and the two of you have gone to great lengths to make you’re little rants or opinions irrelevant…

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Denvermike
        “You (or your partner RF) said the US trucks that were sold in Australia were of poor quality. I just mentioned those were built in South America, RHD converted and not US specific.”

        We know they were(built in RHD not converted) and the US Pickups are of poor quality. That is part of the overall problem of why US vehicles do not sell outside NA as @HighDesertcat pointed out.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Robert Ryan

        “(Quality) is part of the overall problem of why US vehicles do not sell outside NA..”

        The giant chip on your shoulder is against US vehicles in general and while some are better than others, Ford cars and trucks are among the highest quality in the world. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda are overrated. Still, we’re talking the narrowest of margins, between the top 20 OEMs

        But then if utmost quality was every buyers #1 main concern, INCLUDING those super sophisticated Australians, Toyota and Honda would be much bigger and VW, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, and BMW would be much, much smaller.

        The F-series imported into Australia were not US made, but built in South America. Still, there was no reason to continue importing them after Australia banned diesel F-series imports, which marked the end. If their quality and reliability was so bad that Ford of Australia couldn’t break even, that just proves they were different animals than the F-series that roam NA. Get real.

        If you’re looking for Lexus fit and finish on work trucks, especially after 10,000 miles of work, you’re crazy, but I hear your point. But let’s take a closer look at Toyota work trucks both new and after equal use and abuse.


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