Toyota Under Pressure From Dealers to Develop a Small Pickup

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Pickup trucks have been all the rage for years now, and automakers have reveled in the opportunity to make as much money as possible with new models. Ford can’t make the compact Maverick fast enough to keep pace with demand and rumors have floated for years that Ram would bring its compact 700 pickup north from Mexico. Toyota, whose Tacoma has led its segment for a while now, is hearing from its dealers that it’s time to act with a competing smaller pickup. Automotive News reported that Toyota dealers are pressuring the automaker to retake the compact truck crown it established in the U.S. back in the 1970s.

While it’s true that today’s compact trucks are nearly as large as yesterday’s full-size pickups, there is clearly demand in the market for a not-so-giant model. Dealers are seeing no drop in demand for larger trucks as the new Ford Maverick continues to sell well, so there’s not a ton of downside for Toyota to listen to its franchisees.

The automaker sold the Stout here back in the 1960s and its trucks through the 1980s and 90s carried the torch with compact dimensions and nearly unbreakable construction. While a new small truck could be a boon for Toyota, dealers cautioned that it needs to be a holistic effort that offers enough tech and comfort features to go with the utility. 

[Image: Toyota]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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17 of 47 comments
  • Zerofoo Zerofoo on Sep 12, 2023

    I remember when Toyota dealers were asking for a V8 pickup when they had the T100. It seems that dealers are never happy.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Kwik_Shift_Pro4X on Sep 12, 2023

    Also why doesn't RAM want the 700 in the USA/Canada?

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    • EngineerfromBaja_1990 EngineerfromBaja_1990 on Sep 13, 2023

      Because the 700 is made in Brazil and it would be subject to the Chicken tax. It also has a puny 1.3l non turbo engine with a whopping 100hp and a CVT that would be dangerous in the hwy because Murica... Did I mention the Crew Cab variants have a sub 4ft bed?

  • El scotto El scotto on Sep 12, 2023

    Design language. You can look at a Ford Maverick and know it's a Ford truck, albeit a wee-tiny truck. Mr JMII, no disrespect intended but I'm not up on H/K styling. However, you can look at a Santa Fe and know it's an H/K product.

    Will the Toyota Stout and well, any other new wee-tiny truck resemble its bigger brothers? Lord only knows what GM will come up with. I'm thinking lifted body, lots of body cladding, and a turbo 3-cylinder engine.

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    • EngineerfromBaja_1990 EngineerfromBaja_1990 on Sep 13, 2023

      @JMII - last weekend I saw a SC with a mild lift kit, aftermarket rally styled wheels with spacers and 31" tires that called my attention. I'm not a fan of the SC's styling but these mods made it look great without gravitating towards brodozer territory

  • El scotto El scotto on Sep 12, 2023

    You see old bean, a banker friend of mine kept an ancient Toyota Truck, pre-Tacoma, at his house in the Hamptons. Oh the thing was an absolute hoot, scads of fun and so many of Long Island simpleton natives thought were some of them

    Luckily my banker friend's father was also a Wall Street banker. He was doing something almost vulgar and unacknowledged tacky involving hedge funds. However, the elder banker made both of us feckless lads millionaires by the time we had graduated from prep school. Not to mention our future trust funds.

    From that innocent summer, flush with tacky cash I was able to buy a townhouse in Boston while pursuing my undergrad degree. Of course, I was showered with academic honors. In just my 1st semester I was given a full scholarship and asked to become a teaching assistant so I could share my divinely granted intellect. Really it was the very least the university could do. I had a PhD with distinguished honors by the time I was 23.

    I became a fully tenured professor at 23. By the time I was 25, I had invented several computer-related devices that only added to my millions. At age 27 I was worth over 300 million dollars. I am and will continue to be the only fully tenured professor who only teaches, sharing and showing my brilliance really, half the year.

    No, no, no none of the first four paragraphs are true, none of them. I write of such activities and think I'm impressing people on a car blog. When that fails, I randomly use capital letters for no reason at all. Deep down inside I know I really can't write a bitchy comment or a condescending one either. I can make some really ignorant and tone-def comments that show I know little or nothing about vehicles. However, I've seen Mercedes AMGs and we had a customer who drove one and I tell everyone that 8 to 10-year-old ones are screaming bargains!

    Thoughts like these run through my mind every afternoon as I stand in line to clock out. That's the real truth about me.

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    • EngineerfromBaja_1990 EngineerfromBaja_1990 on Sep 13, 2023