By on September 15, 2016

2016 Toyota Tacoma blue

The Toyota Tacoma entered the year in an enviable position. Soaking up nearly half of all sales in the growing midsize pickup segment, the venerable nameplate’s spot on top of podium seemed unshakable.

Eight months later, Toyota seems spooked. The Tacoma’s market share is eroding, down to 38 percent of the midsize segment in August as its competitors surge. To stay ahead, the automaker plans to send a bundle of cash south of the border to boost production, Automotive News reports.

Part of Toyota’s problem is a restricted flow of product from its Tijuana, Mexico assembly plant, which has the capacity to make about 100,000 Tacomas a year. That just won’t do, so Toyota will now invest $150 million to increase output to 160,000 units per year.

Tight inventories have put a damper on sales. By opening up the product faucet, Toyota hopes to power ahead of its biggest competitors — the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon.

According to TTAC’s Timothy Cain, the midsize pickup market saw 39 percent year-over-year sales growth in August. The GM twins took 31 percent of the segment, while a revitalized Honda Ridgeline and resurgent Nissan Frontier also saw gains. The Tacoma saw its market share slip further as well as its sales, which were down 5 percent over the previous month.

A production boost is key to stay ahead of GM, as the General recently punted its commercial van production to Navistar in a bid to free up capacity for the Colorado and Canyon.

Toyota’s Tijuana plant reportedly runs 24/7 on weekdays, with two shifts on Saturday. A third shift was added last year. Tacomas also roll out of the automaker’s San Antonio, Texas plant, where a Saturday shift was added this year.

[Image: Toyota]

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96 Comments on “Toyota to Boost Tacoma Production as Midsize Sales Lead Slips...”


  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Can we really come to the conclusion that this is because of a market share drop? Sounds more to me like they have tight inventory and simply need more capacity.

    Sorry to current Tacoma owners. This kinda thing will likely hurt resale when the trucks hit the market.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      “Sorry to current Tacoma owners. This kinda thing will likely hurt resale when the trucks hit the market.”

      I’m not sure if that will really have a significant impact on resale value. It’s not like the Tacoma was previously a low-volume, rare model. Over the last decade, there’s been a variance of US Tacoma sales from high years in the 175k range and low years in the 110k range (with an average of 146k/year). My understanding, without delving into the research much, is that Tacos generally hold their value quite well across the model years.

      Projecting 2016 forward from Tim Cain’s data, Toyota could sell anywhere from 185-190k Tacomas this year. That’s already a boost of 40k/year over the last decade’s average yearly sales. If the Toyota plans to boost their Tijuana plant capacity by as much as 60k units/year, will that really be enough to erode resale? I guess time will tell.

    • 0 avatar
      ckb

      I’ll believe that when I see it. To drive my 03 Tacoma 5 years and 60k miles cost me $800 in resale value. When I was looking at 4runners I was having trouble finding differences in prices of new vs 2 or 3 year old vehicles. Worst case I’m guessing it may bring prices back down to earth in 5 years or so.

      Totally agree on your first point though. Never understood why market share is talked about more than all the other economic factors, especially if your plant is at full capacity. Maybe that’s the only data publicly available to talk about?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Market share is also down because they have viable competition from Chevy/GM.
        There is a resurgence of interest in small trucks. Even the ancient Frontier is selling reasonably well.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      No, what’s going to hurt resale value is the vibration problem with the 3.5 V6, not to mention other issues, assuming anyone reads owner forums before they buy. Me, I’m glad I own a 2013, and not a 2016.

      http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/617-3rd-generation-2016/1228961-vibration-tied-rpm-range-issue-anyone-else-notice.html

      https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/transmission-the-new-6-speed-automatic-in-the-2016-write-up-with-pics.361114/

      https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/owned-5-tacomas-by-far-my-16-is-the-worst-in-fit-and-finish.451056/

      • 0 avatar
        Macca

        Yikes. I skimmed through the 15 pages of the first link and it’s enough to make me rethink my next purchase. I was seriously considering purchasing a new Tacoma in the next 6 months. I’ll have to check back and see if if the vibration issue gets resolved.

        • 0 avatar
          dukeisduke

          The most vocal guy (Doobiewah) recently traded his for a new Ridgeline. Toyota doesn’t seem that interested in fixing the vibration problem, so I won’t be trading in my ’13 anytime soon. I know that they made many under the skin changes, but they still look too much like the 2nd gen Taco. Toyota definitely seems to be phoning it in these days. Sad.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      It’s pretty clear that GM has brought attention and growth to the mid-size truck market, simply by bringing out the Colorado and Canyon. The fact that they are capable trucks with genuine strengths (and a few weaknesses) has helped GM capitalize on that growth. With the amount of Tacoma loyalty out there, this is a significant positive for GM. What will matter to Toyota in the long run will not be expanding capacity to make their current model, but what they do with their next redesign. New buyers will not be as loyal as long-time Taco owners, so Toyota will need to stop resting on old laurels.

  • avatar
    John

    The picture epitomizes the American pickup and driver – four seater truck, one occupant, empty bed, driving on glass-smooth pavement. Nice blue paint – wouldn’t want to put a scratch in it!

    • 0 avatar
      RS

      Do they have to be full of stuff and people all the time?

      • 0 avatar
        mike1dog

        Yes, just like all Porsches have to be going twice the speed limit at all times, all diesel heavy duty pickups must be towing ten thousand pound trailers at all times,and all suvs must have at least two children in the backseat at all times. You must never not be fully using all the capabilities of your vehicle, otherwise you should just buy a Corolla.

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      My full size sedan is often only occupied by one person every day. I admit it’s wasteful but until they make an Expand-A-Car I’m going to have to keep driving something mostly empty 5 days a week for the 2 days each weekend where the other spots are occupied.

      Small concession, I rode the bike to work today, which gets 45mpg instead of 25. My passenger seat was empty though…

    • 0 avatar

      What’s your point, John?

      Here’s mine. People have the right to drive and enjoy whatever they want so long as it passes state inspection and they can afford it.

      It’s the Bill of Rights. Not the Bill of Needs.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Get rid of dumbass laws banning riding in the bed Taliban style, and, at the margin, at least some buyers will prioritize a bit more bed space over cab room.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Whatever happened to the America that allowed its citizens the freedom to do whatever the Taliban does? Hmmmm. I wonder.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          It went from being the Land of the Free, to the Land of the Bent Over, Beaten, Enslaved and Sufficiently Indoctrinated to Believe that being so is a Good Thing.

          While Taliban Afghanistan can now brag about being the Land of the Freer than Americans…. That’s kind of sad, for those of us who still cling to the quaint notion that being a slave kind of sucks compared to not being one.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Stuki,
            If you love Afghani freedom so much, feel free to leave this land of the indoctrinated and move there. Don’t doubt that the funding for a one-way ticket will be there for you.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        You say that as if people had always looked forward to riding in the bed for longer distances than a mile before that mean ol’ gubmint took their freedoms away.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          Nope. Just noting that for many truck owners, the ability to, on rare occasions, bring people along in their truck is a non negotiable. Despite them being, 98% of the time, better served with a bigger bed over a bigger cab.

          So now, they are stuck dragging around an empty, heavy, difficult to park, fuel guzzling cab. Which they, 98% of the time, don’t need. Just because the domain of their utility optimization function has been artificially, at gunpoint, reduced; in order to serve the vanity of a bunch of backmarkers incapable of doing anything more productive than meddling in the lives of others.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I bet if you moved to Afghanistan you could carry ALL your friends in the bed of a pickup. IF you had friends. But just speaking hypothetically, it would indeed be possible.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “Despite them being, 98% of the time, better served with a bigger bed over a bigger cab.”

            That’s an interesting figure–could you share how you came by it? I like math, even if I could never figure out Calc II.

            “So now, they are stuck dragging around an empty, heavy, difficult to park, fuel guzzling cab.”

            Stuck? People who have crew cabs bought them because they wanted them, pure and simple. When the first extended cab full-sizers came out in the ’70s, they were low-volume models, because at the time if you wanted a vehicle that could haul the family and pull a camper or boat, you did it with the family’s Catalina or Marquis. As cars were downsized and lost their V8s, pickups jumped in as passenger and work vehicles. By the mid-’90s, extended cab/6.5′ models matched or outnumbered RCLBs in all brands–and research showed many buyers would give up even more bed space if it meant more legroom. Ford would never have offered a SuperCrew F-150 if they didn’t know there was a market for it.

            Never mind that it’s not any more “difficult to park” than a RCLB or ECSB model built on the same WB, and there’s essentially no MPG penalty because the tests are all done with a crew cab model.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Needs cap on the back, so your tackle box doesn’t get wet and dirty.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        Yup.

        That’s what the ORIGINAL Japanese trucks were intended for, at least in our market. Personal vehicles to haul OCCASIONAL bulky or heavy loads.

        But we can’t have them anymore. I don’t understand why; but we just can’t. So…I guess those with those needs and the money to buy it, just buys one of these – four-doors, high height, to tote his tackle box.

        Silly, maybe, but that’s what government pigeonholing gets. And no more silly than doing it with a Chevrolet Malibu or a Subaru. When our choices are limited, you’ll find people making choices and uses that seem a little odd – until you consider that alternatives have disappeared.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Except that a properly equipped Taco can haul just as much weight (though granted, not as much bulk) as one of those old Pickups with a One Ton package. And as soon as extended cabs were offered, 90% of compact buyers went to them, because having a decent amount of legroom was more important than having 7.5′ of bed.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            With the crew-cab came a redesign into a different class. AND…the demographic that can afford a $20k – plus new vehicle is not necessarily the same as which wanted a lower-cost, no-frills personal-transportation unit with carrying capacity.

            The proof that the original design is marketable and desired, is in the high resale price the original Tacomas go for…even the standard cab models.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            You’re right about the high resale value, but how much of that can actually be attributed to which particular cab it has and not just that it’s a Tacoma?

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      John, maybe you’d be more comfortable over at the Huffington Post. Lord knows they must have an Autos section by now.

      • 0 avatar
        Macca

        @86er: my thoughts exactly.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        86er,
        John has an opinion. Are you so threatened by his opinion you need him to go elsewhere? Pickup owners are so damned sensitive.

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          No. I am loath to tell someone to take a hike, which wasn’t my intention here. However, I am finding a disturbing trend of social authoritarianism that has shot-through the public discourse, and manifests itself in all manner of things on the web. I don’t know why it finds an ear on an auto enthusiast website. Automotive ownership is intrinsically about freedom of movement.

          Plus, we can be certain that John is trolling, and in my opinion trolls can take a hike. Less facetiously, he is deserving of all the criticism possible for positing this trite canard.

          If we’re carving out a “safe space” for John, let’s also carve one out for “pickup owners” (lucky guess).

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Sing it, brother.

            Seems the SJW/Thought Police have staked out territory on most social media – and are strong-arming compliance. They cannot stick to the subject, but instead insist on attacking those who do not follow their thought orthodoxy.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Do you ever stop whining?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Pickup owners will continue to get teased for buying capability more for their image than their actual needs only as long as they remain so sensitive about it.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            You’re preaching to the choir, VoGo.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            “Pickup owners will continue to get teased for buying capability more for their image than their actual needs only as long as they remain so sensitive about it.”

            And it will continue to be a Thought Crime to remind people that Earf-Friendly Prius buyers consume more energy and resources from manufacture of their status-badge car, than they could save over the vehicle’s life.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            JustPassinThru,
            Feel free to offer credible evidence to back up your ludicrous statements.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            86er,
            John’s view is not really that far from the truth. I did not read anything he wrote that stated you can’t do this.

            Pickups are a middle class fashion symbol. They are great and can be used as most are to go to Lowes and buy 20 thumbtacks. But if a person wants this, good on them.

            Most pickups are a waste to some.

            I even have heard people complain the someone has a car and they don’t catch a bus or train.

            If everyone was like you or me the world would be sh!t and boring.

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            “JustPassinThru,
            Feel free to offer credible evidence to back up your ludicrous statements.”

            Only ridiculous if you don’t understand what’s involved in manufacturing, processing, and then scrapping products.

            Several years back someone worked through the exact numbers and energy involved, including the rare materials in batteries, the disposal of this hazardous waste in wrecking yards, the cost of development, the cost of all this complex hardware…compared to the relatively-low amount of gasoline it would save.

            Of course it’s been scrubbed of the Web, because…because…because Google can. And because that’s what liberals do with facts that contradict their fantasies and narratives.

            This piece starts to ask the question and show why, but stops short. Hasn’t been scrubbed. Yet.

            http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/does-hybrid-car-production-waste-offset-hybrid-benefits.htm

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @JPT sorry but that like if full of crap, “There are additional environmental concerns related to those rare earth metals, like those used in the magnets of hybrid batteries.” among other things in that article that have no basis in fact.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “Several years back someone worked through the exact numbers and energy involved, including the rare materials in batteries, the disposal of this hazardous waste in wrecking yards, the cost of development, the cost of all this complex hardware…compared to the relatively-low amount of gasoline it would save […] Of course it’s been scrubbed of the Web, because…because…because Google can. And because that’s what liberals do with facts that contradict their fantasies and narratives.”

            And what proof is there of this “scrubbing”? You came across all this, and you didn’t bother to save it to your own hard drive or to the Internet Archive, and then you blame “liberals” for taking it down? Please don’t make yourself look any worse. [Citation needed] means provide proof, not say, “yeah, wull…it was out there!”

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Okay I’m busted. Reality really HAS been changed by erasing websites.

            Sure.

            And of course those batteries, those hundreds of miles of copper wiring, the microprocessors with their gold and tin connections, the plastic housings…they don’t add a THING to the environmental impact of manufacturing a vehicle.

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lithium-ion-batteries-hybrid-electric-vehicle-recycling/

            To say nothing of trendy Friends Uv the Earf, trading in serviceable cars for NEW hybrid cars. Does manufacturing a new car when the old one would do as well, not have an environmental impact?

            http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-used-cars-are-more-ecofriendly/

            See, web-scrubbing isn’t as easy as Google thinks it is. And it doesn’t change reality – one little bit.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @JPT, fact is that every day people trade in their perfectly serviceable conventionally powered cars for another conventionally powered car. Sometimes they even do so to gain maybe 2mpg.

            Fact is that that perfectly serviceable car doesn’t go to the crusher after it is traded in, the vast majority of them get sold to a second and often subsequent owners who either can’t afford a brand new car or don’t want to spend the money for a brand new car.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @VoGo – kinda hard not to be sensitive due to the hypocrisy involved.

          I can’t drive my crew F150 to and from work solo because it looks like I’m a poser with more vehicle than I need?

          What if I got a HellCat or GT350 instead? Would that make it all better?

          Oh and I’m sure Big Al will somewhere along the way pipe in with ludicrous comments about full size trucks…… oh wait….. too late.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            The difference is that teasing the owner of a sports car is boring because they get the joke and are good natured about it. It’s the Porsche owners themselves that tell the joke asking the difference between a porcupine and a Porsche (pricks on the outside).

            Tease a pickup owner, and their fragile manhood gets bent out of shape and they whine about the hypocrisy of it all. Get a hide, guys. Every vehicle is bought on image. So what?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “Tease a pickup owner, and their fragile manhood gets bent out of shape and they whine about the hypocrisy of it all.”

            What a constructive overgeneralization! I’m sure you’ve made a lot of pickup-owning friends by pointing that out.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            VoGo – getting ribbed over beers is no big deal. I’ve read enough posts here to know who is “teasing” and who is dead serious.

            But hey, i never called you a SJW. (That was a tease)

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I’m no SJW! Jewish? Yes. But married and male.

            By the way, I have some furniture to move to my inlaws this weekend, and the Smart car is in the shop. Can I borrow your pickup?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      John,
      You are not far from the truth. 75% of all pickups are just daily drivers. But, if a person wants this and can afford let them be.

      Even many of the so called “business pickups” are just daily drivers and a tax write off.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Around 40% of 1/2 tons are fleet sales alone. It’s unknown where you get a 75% hard number. Figure it’s greater than 40% fleet for HDs, and less than for midsize pickups.

        And not just any small or midsize company/farm/ranch qualifies for “Fleet” purchases. We’re talking 10+ vehicle purchases at a time, within a given year, or have 10+ vehicles or equipment such as backhoes, tractors, combines, forklifts and bobcats in current opperation, proof required.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          As I’ve mentioned before you can buy one truck for your one truck business and have it count as a “fleet sale”. You just have to have a business license and buy it from the fleet dept.

          What you describe is what is required to get a FIN or Fleet Identification Number. That FIN gets you access to order your vehicle in fleet specific configurations and can get you better pricing in some cases. Of course sometimes you’ll get a better price buying retail as all those big discount, rebates, and low interest financing are for retail purchases.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @BAFO – yup. My brother “daily drives” his crewcab Chevy HD. Usually to the sum of 160,000 km in 2-3 years. His “daily drive” is called WORK.
        I daily drive my F150…… I purchased it to drive.

        Oh, how do you like my BT50??????

        I purchased it to park and make the world an uglier place!

        Other than the “ugly” comment – my comment is as silly as yours is.

  • avatar
    B_C_R

    I thought the peaky 3.5 V6 and 6 speed automatic transmission that never seems content in any gear would be the reason for its sales lead slipping. Memo to Toyota: build an engine designated for trucks! Car engines are too much of a compromise in a pickup truck or SUV.

    A diesel engine similar to what GM is putting in the Colorado would be an even better addition. I’m sure you’re listing right?

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      “I thought the peaky 3.5 V6 and 6 speed automatic transmission that never seems content in any gear would be the reason for its sales lead slipping”

      Agreed. I wasn’t too impressed with this engine for a truck. Seemed like it had lower power than the 3.5 V6 in my Sienna and Avalon. Makes you wonder if they are going to use the Tacoma V6 in the upcoming 4Runner redesign, which is coming up in 2018. Can’t imagine those 4Runner guys being happy with this engine either.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I’ve heard that the 4Runner will be launched with both the 4.0 and 3.5. I think we can all make safe bets on which one Toyota is going to push, but let’s hope all that’s true and we can keep the 4.0.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          This seems incredibly unlikely. Why would any company put two engines that similar into one vehicle? It seems like it adds unneeded complexity to the production process and the engineering involved in making the new vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            B_C_R

            You’d think so, but look at Subaru. They’re currently stuffing the new F series engine under the WRX and the Clinton era EJ series under the hood of the STI.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I like the Toyota 3.5L a lot but it is a pretty sporty engine with power delivery that likely isn’t what truck buyers are looking for.

      GM has the same issue with the 3.6L in the Canyorado.

      Assuming the 4.0L is on its way out, the best solution for Toyota may be using the 2.0T as the base engine and offering the 4.6L V8 as the upgrade option. GM could just use the 4.3L.

      • 0 avatar
        B_C_R

        I’ve always wondered why the 4.3 V6 didn’t get the nod for use in the Colorado. There’s plenty of room under the hood, and the low end torque is there. Maybe GM is worried about a 4.3 V6 Colorado cannibalizing sales of 4.3 equipped half tons?

        No, that doesn’t make sense either as most of the half tons with the 4.3 are fleet models, or base L models. Hmm.

        • 0 avatar

          CAFE, most likely.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “I’ve always wondered why the 4.3 V6 didn’t get the nod for use in the Colorado. ”

          Me too, because the new 4.3 would be a great motor for the GM midsize twins. The V6 offered in them now isn’t any better than what’s under the hood of the Toy Taco.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          “I’ve always wondered why the 4.3 V6 didn’t get the nod for use in the Colorado.”

          It’s almost certainly because GM wanted the mid-sizers to drive more like cars in their handling and refinement than full-sized trucks do. This is part of their appeal. The 3.6 gives most of the actual towing capacity you’d get with the 4.3 while being far more livable for the typical driver who would otherwise be driving a CUV or sedan. It gives the mid-sizers a unique proposition as capable of towing and hauling while being more car-like or CUV-like for daily driving.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        If people just had the sense to buy their Tacoma with a proper tranny, the engine is great. Of course a slushbox is going to going to slush. And be programmed for the EPA, not “truck guys.”

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “If people just had the sense to buy their Tacoma with a proper tranny, the engine is great. Of course a slushbox is going to going to slush. And be programmed for the EPA, not “truck guys.”

          Nothing worse than a stick shift in a truck. I’ve had them both ways. Proper automatic is what is needed for a truck you plan to put to work. If you want a something to shift, buy a sports car.

        • 0 avatar
          Funky

          My Tacoma has the V6 and the 6 speed manual. I haven’t noticed any engine vibration problems (and, I am not sure what others are talking about in this regard). And the manual transmission is well suited to the V6 and to the truck. It is fun to drive. It works great to tow a 3500lbs trailer. The driver seat is comfortable for me (I’m a typical tall and fat American). My kids are comfortable in the back seats. Fit and finish is good on everything except for the truck bed and rear bumper area (maybe because the truck bed was made in Mexico). Toyota offered, without any push-back, to adjust the fit and finish of the truck bed at my convenience (haven’t had time yet, but soon I will get around to it). And, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the truck bed fit and finish issues if I hadn’t been taking measurements for a weight distribution system prior to towing.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          This is why *every class 2 and 3 truck* isn’t “for truck guys”.

          Because automatic.

          Because reasons.

          I assure you the transmission in my SuperDuty doesn’t “slush”.

          (But then, neither did the one in my old ’94 Toyota Pickup.)

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      They should have stuck with the 4.0 1GR-FE, which is a truck engine. They went to the 3.5 to try to pick up another 1 mpg, and it’s crap compared to the 4.0. I drove a friend’s 2016, and I wasn’t impressed. Makes all kind of weird noises, and is peaky and wimpy compared to my 4.0.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    “Toyota’s Tijuana plant reportedly runs 24/7 on weekdays, with two shifts on Saturday.”

    What do you think the 7 stands for in 24/7?

  • avatar
    86er

    So, the GM trucks are already within 7 points of market share to the longstanding segment leader. Funny what happens when an OEM gives a $hit and doesn’t just roll over.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    So explain to me again how the Big 3 came to the conclusion that consumers didn’t want the Ford Ranger, Chevrolet S10 or Dodge Dakota? Yet Toyota can’t seem to keep up with production with a market they largely have to themselves.

    Seems to me the Domestic brands all thought they could force truck buyers into a more expensive, more profitable offerings with full size models but not every company followed the same playbook.

    And the resale on Tacomas is CRAZY high, people want a midsize truck but have limited options and supply.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Yup. And that includes the compact Gen1 Tacoma. Four-wheel-drive models, fifteen years old and older, go for $9k and more, used, over 100k miles, when rust-free.

      The poor sales of the Ranger and S10 were an indication of buyers’ rejection of the poor quality and lousy design of those trucks.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        Ford and Chevy let those designs rot and then are surprised consumers stopped buying them.

        Let’s see what happens if say Ford lets the F-150 whither on the vine that long without upgrading, will they come to the same conclusion that nobody wants “full-size” trucks anymore?

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          It wasn’t even so much the stagnant design as that the original design wasn’t much good. After all, the Gen1 Tacoma is as old as the other designs – but it’s still very acceptable today and would be even as a new vehicle.

          I think it was old-school Detroit trying to drive the market – the way they used to try to drive it with economy cars. By making LOUSY economy cars and then upselling customers into big cars the customers didn’t want.

          The Rangers and S10s were to sell their bigger brethren. But with a competitor’s truck, the size and price-point the buyers wanted, and FAR-superior design and assembly…sure, the kludgy domestic models would be abandoned.

          Marketing failure – a failure to understand their competition and respond appropriately. Instead, in Detroit fashion, they discontinued the smaller-truck lines and declared the class dead.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            “I think it was old-school Detroit trying to drive the market – the way they used to try to drive it with economy cars. By making LOUSY economy cars and then upselling customers into big cars the customers didn’t want.”

            Good point

            They looked at small trucks as “penalty boxes”.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            JustPassinThru – agreed. People argue that the small truck market collapsed because no one wanted small trucks. That is partially true. The full truth is no one wanted what “they” were making.

            GM builds a credible small truck and the market takes off…. go figure.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      Chrysler got killed on the Dakota because they screwed up the design of it. They went from 150,000+ sales in 2001 to less than 20,000 in 2009. As soon as the redesigned 2005 model came out sales tanked and never recovered. They never improved fuel economy, and went super cheap on the interior–which was typical for the Daimler-Chrysler era.

      A properly designed 3.6L 8 speed new Dakota would be the ticket to have.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      whitworth,
      First, are you British? Whitworth?

      I do believe there has always been pent up demand for a midsize pickup. Ford initially in the mid 2000s considered bringing in Thai built Rangers, but then the Thai government was overthrown by the military and the Free Trade deal went to pieces. Ford then went down the path of “protectionism” by not wanting another similar product to compete with the new beaut aluminimium wunder trux.

      GM did go down the midsize path.

      The new global midsize pickups are highly refined now, similar to the Colorado and Canyon. The global midsizers are mid range in load and tow capability as well with a full size.

      There are a few niggly problems that hold back true competition in the US pickup market. The Big Three and UAW are the main problem in allowing the freeing up of this vehicle segment.

      I would personally love to see the US have all that is available globally.

      But, the I don’t envisage this occurring whilst the US regulators and lawmakers continue to promote large vehicles over smaller vehicles in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The only reason the few less than full size trucks are doing as well as they are is because there are so few players in the game. The sales total for the segment last year was less than what the Ranger sold by itself at the peak of the mini-truck fad.

      Around here it is the Ranger that is the darling of the used truck market commanding high prices. The Toyotas get bought up and taken south were they sell for more.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Doing pretty well for what seemed like a half-axed re-do.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    One can only summise that increasing Taco production will only make the vehicle less lucrative for Toyota.

    As for the percentage of market share? Is this an issue when you are in fact selling more? I would worry if total numbers dropped, then why would you increase production.

    I do believe more midsize and pickups in general needs more on offer. This is due to the pickup segment size. It’s under represented with choice.

    How cars models are on offer? This is possible because cars can be imported into the US with little ado other than a few technical barriers whereas the pickups are hamstrung by a ludicrous chicken tax.

    Remember most pickups in particular midsizers and half ton are just a car/CUV/SUV alternative. They are not work trucks. Some tow, but how much and how often? Some carry a load in the bed, but how much and how often?

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “One can only summise that increasing Taco production will only make the vehicle less lucrative for Toyota.”

      How?

      As far as anyone can tell, they’re supply-constrained – demand for the Tacoma exceeds supply.

      They’re not charging extra for “rarity”.

      At this point, “more Tacoma = more profit, linearly” seems exceedingly reasonable – especially since, again, it’s already amortized.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Sigivald – “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! Otter (Tim Matheson): [whispering] Germans? Boon (Peter Riegert): Forget it, he’s rolling.”

        Just substitute Big Al for Belushi’s Bluto.

        Works every time.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Sigivald,
        I do think it is quite simple to work out.

        Have a look at how Toyota is managing the increase in Taco production.
        1. In the US Taco production is more reliant on robots.

        2. Toyota will feel the pain when the Ranger comes out, GM to a lesser degree.

        3. The constraints on Taco numbers would be quite fine, I’d say Toyota are manufacturing the exact amount required. So any increase in Taco production will put downward pressure on pricing.

        Now, have a closer look at how Toyota is managing it’s Taco production.

        1. As mentioned the US Taco production is more automated, Mexico is more labour intensive. Why would Toyota invest in robots in the US if Toyota were to consider more competition, plus a reduction in vehicle sales. It is easier to fire a auto worker than to pay down an idle robot.

        2. Here Toyota in an attempt to maintain Hilux sales it has moved it’s Hilux pricing down. The Ranger is nipping at the Hiluxes heel all the time and on a couple of occasions exceeded the Hilux in sales. If the BT50 is taken into account the Ranger/BT50 outstrips the Hilux all the time. The Ranger and BT50 are built on the same line.

        3. If the next Frontier is very similar to our Navara it will sell quite well in the US.

        So, over the next few years the Taco will face stiffer competition from equally good and even better pickups.

        So, if Taco number reduce, Toyota will fire the Mexican auto workers to keep paying down the robots in the US.

        The Taco has to come down in price to remain competitive in the near future.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Having a S-10 there is nothing wrong with its design only the quality of the body hardware. The problem with the midsize field is that the manufacturers make more money on the fully loaded half ton pickups. Also that the manufacturers put little into updating and improving the midsize trucks which did respectable in sales regardless of their neglect (i.e. Ranger still managed to do fairly well in 2011 their last year). Toyota is selling the Tacoma on their past reputation and there are very few changes. Increased competition is a good thing for the consumer in that it forces the manufacturers to update aging products.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    It’s not the supply that’s the problem, at least for me. I really wanted a Tacoma TRD Sport. Found several with in town. The dealers treated them, and 4Runners, like gold. So I bailed and bought a F-150 XLT Crew 4X4 at $14K off. Cheaper than what the damn Toyota dealers sell Tacomas. Yes resale isn’t as good as the Taco. But it’s decent.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      matt3319 – I was cross shopping the Tacoma in 2010. The F150 I purchased ended up being considerably cheaper. Toyota – “That’s the price, take it or leave it.” it only works with hardcore fans or those fixated on only one product.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Not only is it “take it or leave it” but you should be grateful that a Toyota dealership is willing to take your money and sell you a Toyota because after all only Toyota makes the highest quality vehicles with the best resale value. You ungrateful rubes. That has been my experience when looking at new Toyotas so I have taken my business elsewhere. Maybe that is not true of all Toyota dealerships but around where I live that seems to be their mantra.

  • avatar
    marmot

    There is a Mexico produced Tacoma at my local dealership. The paint quality reminds me of the 1986 Chevy S10. The paint is not shiny. It is almost a matt finish. The interior stinks. It does not smell at all like a new car. In contrast, a nearby Sienna had a gorgeous paint job and smelled wonderful. They have this sad looking truck optioned up to $50,000, with the LED light bar alone listing for $1600.00.

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