By on October 29, 2016

2016 Toyota Tacoma Double Cab blue

Cars. They still make ’em, don’t they?

Automakers do, in fact, still produce cars, but they’re the last thing those companies’ bosses want to talk about, and they’re no longer on the top of most buyers’ shopping lists.

For the world’s largest automaker, the U.S. public’s shift towards trucks, SUVs and crossovers presents a problem. Toyota has them, but can’t build enough of them. With the rapidly declining interest in cars threatening its tentative No. 1 standing, Toyota needs to find a way to give buyers what they want.

Speaking to Automotive News, Didier Leroy, Toyota’s executive vice president and chief competitive officer, bluntly stated what his company needs to stay on top. Give dealers “more and more and more trucks,” Leroy said.

“Our commitment for the U.S. dealers is we will provide them more and more and more trucks and more SUVs,” Leroy told AN. “We provided them more trucks and SUVs this year than last year, and in 2017, we will even produce and deliver more trucks.”

Barring a significant sales bump in the last three months of 2016, this year could see Toyota’s U.S. sales decline for the first time since the 2011 Japanese tsunami. That disaster threw a wrench into the automaker’s operations, leading to a sales dip. Otherwise, sales have risen steadily since the recession.

However, the market has lost some of its heat. As sales flatten out, automakers have turned to ever-greater incentives to push new vehicles off the lot. Focusing on top-selling vehicles is key, and it’s trucks and SUVs that buyers want.

Through the first nine months of 2016, sales of Toyota cars have dropped 11 percent, and total sales are down 2.4 percent. The company’s truck production hasn’t kept pace with demand. To compensate, Leroy claims Toyota wants trucks to count for 55 percent of its sales, up from today’s 51.9 percent.

There’s only one problem: production is already maxed out, both in the U.S. and in Japan. In the fastest-growing segment — midsize trucks — Toyota’s Tacoma has seen its share erode in the face of competition from General Motors and other players. A $150 million investment in its Tijuana, Mexico Tacoma plant should boost production from 100,000 vehicles annually to 160,000, but those new vehicles won’t come online until 2018. The automaker has already added an extra shift at that facility, as well as its San Antonio, Texas assembly plant.

Leroy wouldn’t say what the automaker plans to do about its truck problem, only saying that it needs to be careful. An added shift here and there could hold Toyota over until capacity expansions arrive, but, Tijuana aside, it hasn’t yet committed to sinking money into new or expanded truck plants.

Toyota remains a cautious company, but that caution could see it lose its sales lead.

[Image: Toyota Canada]

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103 Comments on “As the Marketplace Shifts, Toyota Has a Truck Problem...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    It is interesting to see the growth of smaller trucks in the market place. Many were on “death watch” for that segment. Growth comes at a time of low fuel prices. Fuel economy has always been touted as one of the reasons that segment existed. Another reason is small size. That reason no longer holds water either since these trucks for the most part are 9/10ths full sized. The Ridgeline is as wide as an F150. The last traditional pillar of the small truck market is price. The most common configuration sold overlaps in price with full sized trucks. Factory discounts are minimal to non-existent in this segment. Full-sided sell with 8-14k on the hood.

    I do suspect that smaller trucks are part of the trend away from cars to SUV’s and CUV’s. Full sized pickup sales exploded when they added a 2nd set of seats and 2 more doors. The pickup truck is seen as an alternative to other products. That makes perfect sense since most of us can’t afford a fleet of vehicles and there isn’t anything out there as versatile as a pickup.

    (1st post. Does that mean I should capslock something? PICKUPS PICKUPS… lol)

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Natch. People want to sit higher and have a fighting chance of seeing over everyone else’s hoods. There’s also the perception of safety through strength and toughness plus the fewer winter cares with a high ground clearance.

      I think the bed is entirely vestigial for most; the smaller pickup is a slightly cheaper but much more garage-able variant of trucks as a 4-door sedan replacement for meaner, more packed roads.

      It had to happen…. kismet!

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      “…there isn’t anything out there as versatile as a pickup.” How about a van?

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Minivan is almost as versatile as a truck, but they are completely uncool. Trucks are cool. Minivan says your life is over apparently.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Its not nearly as easy to build a minivan to compete with, say, a perfectly stock F-150 FX4 off-road.

          Yes, Astro, Aerostar and some Japanese models rarely if ever sold here (Mitsubishi Delica comes to mind) were offered with 4wd and some were not bad off-road due to their truck-ish nature.

          AWD Chrysler or Toyota Siennas won’t compare to a pickup off road, perhaps only in snow or mud that isn’t too deep.

          “How many go off road in their pickup?”

          I’m sure Al the excitable Aussie could quote us some very well researched and proven percentages, but the point is the ability to go off road and not rattle itself apart/self-destruct with repeated use on poor roads is a versitility that trucks carry over the common FWD car-based minivan we have in our market.

          I’m in no way claiming that everyone who has a truck “needs” one, as I happen to be a firm believer in “drive what you want/what makes you happy,” be it a Ram 3500 crew cab 4×4 dually or a 1993 VW Cabrio automatic.

          *edit: I say this as a guy who has used minivans (Aerostars mostly) quite a bit as cargo/tools haulers, tow vehicle, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Back in the day, many vans were built on truck platforms so there would be no reason that you couldn’t make an offroad worthy van. There are quite a few E350s out there that have had F350 transfer case, front prop shaft, and front end swapped over to make them 4WD. It does require a lift, IIRC, to fit everything under the E350 platform, but it is doable.

            Personally, I wouldn’t get a full size truck for offroading. They are all too long, too wide, and the wheelbase is wayyyyyy too long. Give me a midsize SUV for offroading any day of the week. Throw a roof top tent on top and I’m set.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          APaGttH,
          Your comment has a ring of truth if you are more concerned about a daily driver. I do believe businesses are more interested in how well the vehicle will do the job.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Kendahl – A van is versatile but you can get a cap or multiple other accessories for a truck. Vans don’t work well for carrying messy/loose cargo or cargo that smells. You know anyone that will throw a load of manure into their van?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Panel vans certainly have their segment locked in, especially with pedophiles, but you gotta be ready for disgustingly low resale value, or “scrap value” with normal mileage, wear and tear, just a few years in. You’ll wish you had instead, a stinkin’ Kia compact sedan to trade-in!!

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Not around here, at least not for E-Series. If you have $5k to spend on a work van expect to get a beat up 10-15 year old unit with 200~250K on it.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “Vans don’t work well for carrying messy/loose cargo or cargo that smells.”

          Exactly. Do I want the stinky 6 gallon gas can for my 7.5 HP OB with me in a van. How about the OB motor itself? No thanks, way too dangerous. Much safer in the bed of my truck away from me and my 3 kids.

          As soon as my big boat gets put to bed for the winter my FS crew cab PU truck will be sold. That will leave me with the ‘Hoe. I’ll run that for 2-3 years(if I can stand it) and I guarantee you i’ll be back into another CC PU.

          I’d love a loaded out GMC Canyon CC LB with the baby dirtymax next. We’ll see.

        • 0 avatar
          Dave W

          No, but I knew a client who carried straw bales in the back seat of his Rolls.
          He said it’s easier to sweep off the leather then vacuum out the flocked stuff in the trunk

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Lou_BC
      I agree and it is certainly not restricted to NA.I have maintained on Pickup Trucks and TTAC, that newer midsize vehicles will grow the category. Another factor that others have missed is the increasing luxury of the segment, that surely is another factor in winning sales

      If fuel prices continue to climb, then you will see a even more dramatic surge in the segment.

    • 0 avatar
      phreshone

      small trucks are making a comeback because the US Government has changed the Section 179 deduction (Hummer Loophole) which gave a massive incentive to buy Trucks and SUV’s with GVWR over 6000lbs. This heavily favored American Body-on-frame SUVS and full size pick-ups, and killed any chance the Ranger/Dakota would be updated. Now with the incentive gone, tax-payers will be more likely to buy the correct size vehicle… Hopefully that means a new Ranger, and perhaps a Dodge Rampage???

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Lou
      Another significant reason often overlooked is the “new” midsizer is as refined as a full size.

      The US pickup market is becoming more like every other daily driving segment. Not all consider supersizing justifiable, especially when its not a requirement. This will also translate to transaction prices.

      The biggest obstacle in the midsize market is the chicken tax. As VW stated, “the US will not see the Amarok unless we are certain we have a market for 100k Amaroks a year ….. or the chicken tax is removed.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Big Al from Oz – Yes. Small trucks are at the point that feature for feature can complete with most full-sized trucks., That is part of the picture. Comfortable seating for 4-5 was one of the biggest reasons for not owning a small truck. That isn’t much of an issue with current crewcab smaller trucks.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “Small trucks are at the point that feature for feature can complete with most full-sized trucks., That is part of the picture. Comfortable seating for 4-5 was one of the biggest reasons for not owning a small truck”

          Spot on as usual Lou. Still not that impressed with the interior of my ex’s Z71 Colorado considering what she payed for it but a lot nicer on the inside than what you used to get in a smaller truck.

          And I can tell you she would never buy a FS PU because she won’t drive something that big. Same reason we went with a ‘Hoe over a ‘Burb years back.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Carlson Fan,
            Again, I believe most pickups are driven with the driver. Sometimes two. With kids up to 13-14 a midsizer will work. Add the capability and refinement into the equation and 70% of all pickup owners can more than get by with a midsizer.

            Its comes down to choice and it appears people are more interest in pickup dynamics other than hp and size.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      It really comes down to mid-size trucks being 90’s full-size now. I drove by a 90’s ranger earlier this week and it’s tiny, so tiny that I would have trouble with my big frame getting behind the wheel because the cab is that small. In a modern mid-size I would easily fit with little issue. Modern full-size trucks are the size of HD models when I was growing up and it’s clear that a huge segment of the market is going to buy them every time because the price difference is marginal at the low end for what is huge capacity but a significant slice of the market has no need for something that large.

  • avatar
    nationalminer84

    If only they had a Tacoma plant somewhere……. oh wait THEY DID. they closed it because it was a Union venture with GM.No Sympathy. Unions aren’t perfect but If they have a capacity issue Im sure dealing with the UAW is less expensive on these Profit Laden Trucks than losing the business…… they used GM’s Bankruptcy as an excuse to dump their only unionized plant. Probably only for that reason. Quality was the best in the system.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Alexander

      Very interesting!

    • 0 avatar
      Kenn

      I owned a Toyota pickup built at the (now-infamous) Fremont, CA, plant. It was possibly the worst new vehicle I’ve bought for build quality, and certainly the worst Toyota. My Hiroshima-built ’01 4Runner has been the total opposite, quality-wise, and a pleasure to own for the last 15 years.

    • 0 avatar

      They were selling about 80k fewer Tacos back in 2010 when they closed the plant as they are now, so it probably made sense back then to close it, whether or not the union played a role.

      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/toyota-tacoma-sales-figures.html

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      I didn’t realize that GM had a joint venture with Toyota building Tacoma’s. I thought it was just the the Vibe and Nova.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        The Toyota pickups were assembled in the same plant as the Chevy Prizim, etc in California.

        Toyota should just admit defeat and pull the plug on Tundra. The market obviously wants their mid-sized truck, but the Tundra really doesn’t have a lot of demand. The Texas factory could exclusively produce Tacoma. Perhaps significantly cut Tundra production to meet Tacoma demand (and to better align Tundra with demand, or rather the lack of it).

        They have to discount Tundra, its as though they’re shoving it down our throats no matter if we want it or not. That isn’t the case with Tacoma.

        The difference in the heavy incentives offered on the American full size trucks is that they sell well enough to, pardon the term, make it up in volume. Tundra doesn’t. Buyers of midsize trucks are almost always using it as a personal vehicle. Sure, some fleets employ midsize trucks, but not Tacoma, as its demand translates into higher transaction prices. The Tundra doesn’t do well in fleet sales simply because it compares so poorly and is so limited in configurations next to American full sizers that it isn’t appealing at all.

        Why not concentrate your resources into building what is in demand (for now, until the Ranger gets here and Nissan finally updates the Frontier)?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Or the chicken tax goes (improbable) and competition forces the manufacturers to run the same margins as most “unprotected” segments.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Big Al from Oz – I can’t see tariffs going away. Hillary is neo-liberal when it comes to trade but I do believe she has waffled on supporting FTA’s to maintain support from traditional left wing allies.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Clearly you overlooked the fact the Tundra and Titan are just as “protected” as any pickups. It must be something else that leads to the wild success and obscene profitability of some pickups over others. Just perhaps, right???

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Go ahead and name some global pickups that could singularly or collectively dent the insane margins of Big 3 pickups. There’s no doubt there would be some cannibalization going on, but mostly of CUVs and midsize trucks/pickups, especially if they happen to be Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Subaru, Nissan, VW, Toyota, Honda, Mitsu, etc, long before fullsize pickups from Big 3 makers, especially 3/4 tons and up, which just happen to be a tremendous part of what makes Big 3 pickups so dang profitable!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            I hope Hilary takes the Crown, even though I lean marginally to the right. I would like to see the US liberalise its economy and not go down the protectionist path. I hope the US becomes a part of the wider world.

            The US needs as many Allies as it can find. This means closer economic links and allowing others more input into foreign affairs. The US is slowly losing its clout.

            He whole rules trade rules the world.

        • 0 avatar
          Notmyname

          I think your right, they should just focus on the Tacoma and discontinue the Tundra. Ford and GM will always have more invested in full-size trucks, and can defend spending more money to consistently keep them competitive and up to date.
          The Tundra really only shares anything with the Land Cruiser, hardly a big volume vehicle. So it’s going to be very costly to completely remodel the Tundra, just to sell a little over 100,000 a year.
          Toyota probably has too much invested in the Tundra to totally cut bait, and I don’t think they’d like to admit defeat and quit on the full size category. But even the Toyota trucks chief engineer said that the Tundra is a niche vehicle for them.
          I think toyota should just put a V8 in the Tacoma, and create a unibody truck. A modern day El Camino style would be awesome.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          John – Tundra sells ~120k units a year. There is no way that the Tacoma could absorb that volume should Toyota decide to cancel the Tundra. The midsize truck market in the US is only going to be ~400k units this year of which Tacoma owns ~170k units. There isn’t a market for another 120k Tacomas. The math doesn’t work.

          I also don’t see Toyota dropping the Tundra based on them wanting to offer something for every major segment. As a full-line automaker, they will want to have something for their customers to grow into… even if they can’t sell 400k units a year in that segment. Otherwise, someone who was happy with their Tacoma but needs more towing capacity goes and buys a competitor. Say he/she likes the competitor and decides that maybe the spouse’s next midsize sedan/crossover will be from that maker, too, rather than a Camry/Highlander. For a full line automaker, they need to keep at least some sort of presence in the full size truck market. It is too big of a market to ignore… and they are moving 120k units a year. That isn’t much compared to Fords 600k F series (remember, that number includes light duty and heavy duty trucks…), but it is only outsold by the Camry, Corolla, Rav4, Highlander, and Tacoma in the Toyota lineup. It would be an insane vehicle for them to cancel.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The Tacoma should take over the Texas plant with Tundra built in Tijuana. The Tundra shares too many parts and platform with Toyota/Lexus SUVs to cancel it. Limiting sales to 100,000 sales a year would probably do it good, for the short term.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            The market for midsize trucks is “only” 400K units because literally no maker, not even Honda, can build units fast enough to match production. Toyota sells every single Taco they make as fast as they can build them. GM sells every Colorado/Canyon as fast as they can build them. The outdated Frontier sells as fast as they can build them. The updated Ridgeline sells…you get the idea.

        • 0 avatar
          SSJeep

          Toyota has more than one truck problem. The Tundra used to be an excellent truck. The 5.7L V8 was state of the art several years ago, the cab was nicely done, and the rear seats were fit for a king. In an effort to maximize profit, the bean counters at Toyota NA decided to “delete” some of the Tundra’s best features, including the sliding rear seat, various compartments, rear seat lighting, auto locking tailgate, etc. In other words, Toyota went the opposite of the rest of the truck market, making their truck worse rather than better. The new Tundra cant even hold a candle to the 2011.

          The 4-Runner is great for off-road adventures, but wallows like a jalopy on the highway and could hardly be called “refined”. The Highlander is popular amongst soccer moms, but really isn’t a truck per se.

          No one buys the Land Cruiser or Sequoia in meaningful numbers, and the Sequoia is sorely overdue for a refresh.

          Which leaves the new Tacoma. The new Taco is a great truck, but has an odd seating position that isn’t tall guy friendly. But, the Taco is Toyota’s saving grace in the truck market today, so they need to find manufacturing capacity somewhere or be left behind.

          • 0 avatar
            slance66

            Isn’t there a new 4Runner coming? 2018 I think?
            If not for the fact that they badged the Prado as a Lexus GX, I wonder why Toyota wouldn’t just harmonize the 4Runner with the global Land Rover?

            It seems like Ford is bringing us the Global Ranger now.

    • 0 avatar
      Notmyname

      The closing of the NUMMI plant is on GM,
      That plant wouldn’t have even been reopened in the 80’s, let alone continue operating for as long as it was, if it wasn’t for Toyota.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      “Unions aren’t perfect but If they have a capacity issue Im sure dealing with the UAW is less expensive”

      That’s the least intelligent thing I have heard in a long while. It’s like saying cancer tumor can help you build body mass.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      “Quality was the best in the system.” Maybe the GM system, but not the Toyota system.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      Quality at NUMMI was terrible, although I only witnessed it on VIBE, not Tacoma. The moment I closed the hood of that thing, the lock went right through it, because a California monkey could not install it right even with jigs and power tools.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      “Quality was the best in the system”

      Any thing I can read about that? Everything I’ve seen says that Toyota’s Tahara plant is their best plant.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Totally a size thing. It used to be we had small cars and small trucks. They got the same gas millage and were equally miserable. Now, a small truck is a midsize truck and a compact/midsize (intermediate) car is no longer a penalty box.

        Toyota’s lineup is lacking. I test drove a new Sequoia a couple years ago and it felt outdated then, let alone now without any updates. The Yukon Denali I drove it back to back with was far nicer.
        The 4Runner will run for a century and is a beast off-road, but the interior is play-skool grade. I did also look at a Land Cruiser, which is an absolute tank and possibly the best-made vehicle on the market today, but the ergonomics sucked. The third row seat is 30 years in the past. There is no way to fold it flat or remove it, which seriously limits cargo space.

        If I were in the market today, I would give the GM full size triplets as well as the Infiniti Qx80 and Mercedes GL a solid look.

    • 0 avatar
      sutherland555

      nationalminer84 Go listen to this podcast on NUMMI. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/561/nummi-2015

      It was GMs decision to stop the joint venture with Toyota and close the plant. Toyota showed GM how they make cars and their impressive logistics chain. The plant went from one of the worst GM plants to one of the best. The workers were happy working there but GM execs blew it. In short, Toyota and the plant workers wanted to keep going but GM execs stopped the venture. They wasted a golden opportunity to learn from the Toyota about ultra efficient and effective manafacturing and logistics. I’m no fan of Toyota cars but it’s no secret that their manafacturing and logistics are the best.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Let’s not forget Toyota is a world wide company and may soon be number 1. They sell lots of SUVs and also have the Hilux to sell where toughness is valued more than seat warmers.

  • avatar
    pragmatic

    May soon be #1?? They’ve been #1 for a while and I don’t think VW or GM is in any position to knock them from that spot in 2016.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @pragmatic
      VW has been No1 for at least the first 6 months of this year. Now you have a new challenger in Nissan whose controlling interest in Mitsubishi has made them a 10 Million vehicle company

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      They’re #1 but were separated from VW by less than 80K units last year and just over 200K from GM. This isn’t a ‘far and away’ #1, it’s a tenuous one. One predicated on not stumbling in the slightest and hoping they can keep up the pace. I’m by no means a doubter of Toyota’s intelligence on this but there just isn’t this huge monolith they’re going to dominate forever, it’s clear the top-6 have a strong situation going with Ford only at ~66% of the sales of Toyota but with fewer sales in emerging markets those numbers are recoverable.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    there are videos on youtube about the last NUMMI corolla and tacoma being built. kinda sad, watching them build those last vehicles, knowing they might not have a job that pays that well ever again.

    • 0 avatar
      KevinC

      My buddy’s recent Taco was built in Tijuana – that shocked me when I read it on the VIN plate. It’s about a ’12 and has been a solid truck of for him.

      That old NUMMI plant is still humming along – building high-quality (I use the term loosely) Teslas.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Wasn’t Mississippi originally built to produce SUVs? Couldn’t they shift production to Mississippi, pulling pressure off of San Antonio.

    Guessing Toyota wishes they had the Freemont Tacoma line still going now.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Mississippi was supposed to build the Highlander initially. Then the plan was shifted to Prius when the downturn happened. When GM pulled out of NUMMI, and Toyota had already invested heavily in the start of the Mississippi plant, so the plan was shifted to Corolla. I’m sure they’d like to have that capacity available now, but it would have been super costly for them to have kept that plant open when SAAR was down around 10M/11M in the US. I don’t think anyone would have predicted it jumping back up to 16M in the matter of 5 or 6 years.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        But isn’t Toyota basically giving away Corollas right now to keep the volume up? I know a fair number end up at rental agencies (double digit percentage, and a huge volume number). They have crazy low lease deals right now that are basically subsidized, given accelerating depreciation on cars in the segment.

        Wouldn’t tightening Corolla supply and increasing Tacoma output drive more profit to the bottom line – even if less Corollas end up on the line at National Rent-A-Car.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          They’d need a heavy retool of that plant to build Tacoma. Going from FWD unit body to RWD body on frame is a massive difference in assembly. If the investment to add Tacoma isn’t covered by the increased volume, they shouldn’t do it. They are probably happier keeping the incentives low on the Tacoma to compensate for the higher incentives on the Corolla. Plus, you have to consider CAFE and the impact of fewer sedans that meet the CAFE standard versus trucks that might not.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      I hear the Fisker Karma plant is available.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Simple solution: A car-based pickup. If they still made a Camry wagon, they could have just jacked it up and given it AWD. The same thing could be done with the Corolla. Again, it would have been easier if they hadn’t stopped building the Matrix.

    But they’re not stuck yet. Chop the back off a Camry and call it an El Camryino. Do the same to the Corolla and you’ve got a Corranchero. On second thought, Toyota can make up their own weird names. They’ll probably come up with something like Ketsuda and Shimuya.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Lorenzo,
      Or Toyota could import the V8 diesel 70 Series pickup. Its 5 Star safety rated.

      This would also offer the US/Toyota an off road “truck” that would be superior to what’s currently available.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Its “5 Star” is entirely based on 1984 “truck” standards, which would be laughable if not such a death trap! That’s the crazy thing about Euro ENCAP. A current “5 Star” crash rating is based on when a current platform was first released!

        And the 70 series diesel wouldn’t pass Euro 6, let alone US/CARB.

        • 0 avatar
          grinchsmate

          How does Mercedes manage to sell th G Wagen?

          And while we are on the topic why doesn’t Lexus sell a 70 Series. The could give it a petrol V8 or maybe the Century V12, cover it in leather and sell it to trophy wives.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @grinchsmate, because they already have the Lexus LX series related to the Land Cruiser with a 5.7 V8. Plenty of Trophy Wives driving those (that is if Daddy cares about reliability more than he cares about a Land Rover or Range Rover badge).

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Principle Dan,
            The Landcruiser and Lexus are equivelant to comparing an Escalade to a Tahoe.

            We have base model Landcruisers with vinyl and basic features. The problem with these are US off road vehicles are they tend to be built to price over capability first. So a highly capable base model Landcruiser wagon will cost too much in the US.

            Even Nissan has “detuned” the Patrol for the US market.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Al from OZ

            I may have strong principles, but my profession is principal. Before other parts of the English speaking/English influenced world had “Headmasters” they had “Principle Teachers” – the chief teacher. That morphed into Principal as the term is used today.

          • 0 avatar
            grinchsmate

            Dan

            I was just pointing out that if Mercedes can make the G safe enough to sell in the US Toyota should be able to do the smame with the 70 Series.

            Also Mercedes already has the GL yet they still sell the G, so there is obviously some kind of market for blinged up agricultural equipment.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            grinchsmate,
            The 70 Series are already manufactured with a 5 Star safety rating. We have them in Australia.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – Maybe you haven’t noticed but Australia accepts 3rd world standards, and even though the 70 series has a “5 Star” rating, ENCAP accepts the ancient, 1984 crash standards for “trucks”, of when the current 70 series platform was originally launched!!

            That’s the F’d up, stupid thing about ENCAP’s “5 Star” ratings when it’s on an ancient, outdated chassis. It obviously gives buyers a completely false sense of safety for them and their family.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          DM – I’d love to have a 70 series LC, but I agree that it is in no way, shape, or form ready for the US market. Were they to upgrade the safety and emissions to meet US specs, I could see it being a Jeep alternative, but it would really just end up stealing every TRD Pro or TRD offroad 4Runner sale versus making new sales. Other than diesel, manual drivetrain availability (that honestly probably wouldn’t be offered here), solid front axles, and sweet retro looks, I’m not sure what the LC70 offers that my 4Runner Trail Edition doesn’t.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s a throwaway, OK for the 3rd world and OZ. It’d cost too much too fix for the US.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Quetin,
            Read the latest reviews from Oz. Toyota has been able to maintain the 70 odd Series toughness and turn out a midsize truck with similar power and torque figures as an XD Titan when the twin turbo V8 diesel.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @grinchmate – Old aging platforms like the 70 series aren’t held to today’s crash standards, including the small overlap barrier and others, I guess to be fair to automakers, but it defeats the purpose if you ask me. Look for this exemption to change soon though, rightly so!

        • 0 avatar
          grinchsmate

          I looked up your claim, “Its “5 Star” is entirely based on 1984 “truck” standards” and you are wrong.

          Ancap defines “rating year” as “… the year requirements against which a vehicle has been assessed.”

          The rating year for the 70 Series is 2016.
          See page 1, test results summary.
          http://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.ancap.com.au/app/public/assets/3f2dadbc15b8916d5c38659f70ea93a17aaf0961/original.pdf?1476855608

          I can see how you got confused as there is some fine print saying ancap may use earlier rating years but the same disclaimer also says they may use the year a vehicles rating is updated which would seem much more relevant in this instance.

        • 0 avatar
          grinchsmate

          Ancap explicitly says they tested the 70Series to 2016 standards.

          If you look at the technical report I linked to it gives results for exactly the same tests as the Hilux first released last year.

          If you can link me to anything saying Ancap tested to an earlier standard I would be interested to see it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            BAFO and Robert R’s silence is very telling here. From your link, Page 3

            Rating Year: …may be based on the year a model was first launched into the Australian market (1984 in this case)…

          • 0 avatar
            grinchsmate

            I believe ANCAP chose 2016 as the “rating year”, or “the year requirements against which a vehicle has been assessed”. My evidence for this is the explicit statement that they chose 2016.

            You believe ANCAP chose 1984 as the “rating year”. Your evidence is that ANCAP says they “may” chose the year a model is first released. My evidence against is that
            (1) the clause allowing ’84 is followed by ” or, for vehicles which hold an existing ANCAP safety rating [which the 70 Series did], the year in which the rating was updated (or
            earlier applicable year).”
            (2) ANCAP says that ratings do not apply to model variants with different engine configurations and I doubt they would distinguish between variants when giving a rating but not when choosing a rating year.
            (3) The numerical test results for the 2016 70 Series are comparable to the 5 star 2015 Hilux a model first released in 2015 and thus not held to ’84 standard.
            (4) The previous 70 Series (which using your logic was also tested to 84 standards) got 3 stars while a ’03 Rodeo also got 3 stars with comparable test results, only possible if ’84 standards were as strict a ’03 standards.
            (5) ANCAP didn’t exist in ’84 and has no ’84 standards.
            (6) Despite numerous articles across the internet expounding on ANCAP’s failings not one mentions your complaint.

            For anyone playing at home here is the relevant text.

            Page 1, Test results summary
            “Rating Year^ 2016 ”

            Page 3
            “^ Rating Year: The Rating Year denotes the year requirements against which a vehicle has
            been assessed. The Rating Year is determined by ANCAP and may be based on the year
            in which a new vehicle model is first launched into the Australian and/or New Zealand
            markets; the year in which the vehicle was tested (if tested by Euro NCAP); or, for vehicles
            which hold an existing ANCAP safety rating, the year in which the rating was updated (or
            earlier applicable year). ”

            If anyone else can parse that to mean they tested to ’84 standards please tell me how you did it.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @grinchsmate
            Seeing more and more L70’s around. That upgrade has been a boost for what is an old chassis. Now they can tweak the V8 Diesrel and everyone is happy.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I only wish I was smart enough to come up with this on my own! I got it from reading the Ozzie Caradvice. But there is no previous 70 series . It’s the same platform and generation since 1984.it predates ANCAP but there were crash standards back then, as primative as they were.

          • 0 avatar
            grinchsmate

            So you have no evidence.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @ Big Al from Oz,
        Toyota are thinking of upgrading the L70 too Twin Turbo Diesel Spec,then tweaking the engine. L70 is actually selling very well.

    • 0 avatar
      Notmyname

      Your ideas makes too much sense and is too smart for it to actually happen.
      I actually wish they would, I would totally drive a Camry “coupe utility”

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Kenmore,
        Please excuse my abruptness. I put forward the Landcruiser option as it is developed and a globally respected vehicle. On other words, why waste money developing a product when one exists that will take on FCA with the up and coming Wrangler pickup as a bonus.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “Simple solution: A car-based pickup.”

      I like that idea. Only a double-digit Ozzie could have been inspired to recommend a BOF diesel V-8 offroader in response.

      Where’s the Santa Cruz? Maybe the other OEMs are waiting to see how that does should it ever materialize.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “Toyota remains a cautious company, but that caution could see it lose its sales lead.”

    Good. Who cares?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Toyota remains a cautious company, but that caution could see it lose its sales lead.”

    That comment is based upon the assumption that chasing sales volume is Toyota’s number one priority.

    Toyota is cautious. They are focused upon sustained profitability.

    We have seen what happens when one focus’s upon #1 sales volume, i.e. “Old” GM and Volkswagen.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Toyota already chased sales volume – which is why they encountered problems some years back.

      Toyota’s “truck problem” is nothing compared to the likes of Hyundai/Kia or Honda/Acura.

      Toyota has a more expansive truck/SUV/CUV lineup than any import brand.

      Their problem is too much capacity now tied up in the Corolla and Camry and not being able to produce more of certain trucks and crossover models.

  • avatar
    CombiCoupe99

    I just paid 12K for a 14 year old Tacoma (the small one – the one they tell us we don’t want).

    Someone – somewhere – please give us a small truck again…

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “I just paid 12K for a 14 year old Tacoma”

      Boy, they sure saw you coming! Better you than me.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        I was thinking the same thing. I owned a Toy truck for 11 years. Good trucks, but really not that special IMO to command the prices they do used. I bought a brand new one because it made much more sense financially than paying top dollar for someone’s used POS. I looked at enough of those.

  • avatar
    matt3319

    Years ago with the almost death of midsize trucks like the Ranger and Dakota, truck buyers where buying bigger full size trucks because most of them actually used them. Then it seemed things changed over the years. Look at Jeep Wranglers. I bet 70-80% of those jacked up Wranglers never go off road. It’s a status symbol. Midsizers are. Ow the same thing. I owned a 2013 Toyota double cab Prerunner. Awesome truck but I wS never going to go off-road. I did use its bed for household chores and nothing more.

    I’m happy to see the growth of the midsize truck again. My first ever truck was a ’92 GMC Sonoma regular cab. Decent truck for $8K new. I’ve also owned a ’01 Ford Ranger Edge regular cab with the 4.0L V6 and manual 5 speed. It was yellow and a fun truck.

    I have owned 4 full size truck that I used for work. That’s the purpose of most full size trucks.

    Toyota has a great problem. Do what they need to do and keep that historically high resale at the same time.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    Honda Ridgeline,, 2017. Maybe I won’t buy one, but I certainly won’t buy any other.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    Hey GM, this Tacoma is what a proper ‘off road recreational truck’ is supposed to look like, right out of the box. Building ‘old man’ trucks may be profitable but it doesn’t give you any cred where it counts.

  • avatar
    Tumbling-Dice

    “Cars. They still make ’em, don’t they?”

    Still going all-in with this crap, I see.

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