2014 Toyota Tundra: Still No Integrated Trailer Brake Controller

Tundra camper tow II

Blame it on a misspoken piece of information; blame it on a reconsidered decision; or blame it on the current hyper sensitivity to all things safety related, but the 2014 Toyota Tundra will not get an integrated brake controller like we were told at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show introduction.

According to Toyota spokesman Chris Gomez, Toyota continues to carefully consider whether to add the towing feature, and it will only make the controller available if it can be confident that Tundra customers want it, are willing to pay the price Toyota will have to charge and that it can satisfy all of the company's safety standards.

This is an interesting development. Many assumed that since the 2014 Tundra was Toyota's big chance to give the outdated and lackluster pickup truck (last updated in 2007) a significant upgrade, offering an integrated brake controller (just like Ford, Chevrolet, GMC and Ram) was a no-brainer. Even Nissan said taking advantage of the truck's sophisticated computer antilock braking sensors for stability control and trailer-sway control can be a huge safety advantage for both novice and expert towers. However, according to Gomez, Toyota does not believe its customers are demanding this feature at the price point it's been researching.

Wait, what?

Something doesn't quite smell right here. Either this is a good safety technology feature (and investment for Toyota) for people who tow or it's not. And if Toyota wants to position itself as a serious alternative to the other major players in the segment (all of whom have the option), then it seems to us it needs to start with some of the more credible and commonly used technologies that support duties the Tundra might be called to do, namely towing. For pickups, offering tie-downs in the bed makes sense. Offering a capable four-wheel-drive package makes sense. Providing a strong and efficient powertrain makes sense. And offering a solid and safe towing package should make sense as well (and that tow package should offer an optional integrated brake controller — seems like that's the price of entry nowadays).

Of course, we don't want to ignore the current reality we're facing either. In the last six months, not only has Toyota been hit with a $1.2 billion fine (technically a "settlement") for not getting recall and investigation materials to the government fast enough, but GM continues to be flogged by congress regarding a multiyear, multi-vehicle ignition recall that includes almost 50 crashes and at least 13 fatalities. It was recently fined $35 million as a result. Never shy about offering his opinion, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne suggests it is possible that the current watchdog climate could potentially hurt the auto industry (eventually making our autos more expensive) and not necessarily make vehicles safer than they already are.

Our short conversation with Gomez was a little frustrating because although he was saying Toyota wants to be very careful about getting the best and safest products to its customers, it seemed contradictory that Toyota is reluctant to offer an option that could make trailer towing safer for its buyers. An integrated trailer brake controller would provide an extra level of "just-in-case" capability that, you would think, would make the corporate lawyers feel more secure.

What could be a better good-faith gesture than providing all the adjustable safety towing gear you can have for pickup owners who need to tow?

Or does Toyota thinks that if it offers an integrated trailer brake controller its customers might be more likely to tow something beyond the factory recommendations and it doesn't want to risk that kind of exposure? Seems like weird logic, especially for this segment.

Gomez did say Toyota is carefully considering the option and he would be very surprised if the brake controller didn't show up in a (near) future model, but that still begs the question about the delay of something that was promised earlier.

We were unable to get a satisfactory answer from Toyota, but we'll be checking back on this one. Like the J2807 towing standards (where Toyota showed tremendous leadership), it's our guess this is an important issue for every pickup consumer who is considering a truck purchase.

Will Toyota lose a sale because it doesn't have the brake controller integrated? Probably not. But offering it, at least as an option, is the right thing to do. After all, this is the pickup that towed the space shuttle Endeavor, right?

Cars.com photo by Mark Williams

IMG_5904 II

 

Comments

Toyota should offer this on their trucks now, but still not a big deal to install an after market unit.

Good commentary.

This isn't a story about Toyota not having access to the technology--in fact, they have access and have chosen NOT to offer it for business reasons.

It's a free country of course, but if PUTC's reporting on this is to be believed, Toyota's make a big mistake here. The writeup gives the reasons, no sense for me to.

Sounds like Toyota's hoping to take GM off the front page!

Can Toyota really be that stubborn about this? Like the Tundra or not the lack of this option and their unwillingness to add it is puzzling.

Toyota has been struggling of late. Maybe it was the $1+ billion fine but something took the wind from their sails. Maybe they felt unfairly slighted with the fine. There's also recent news stories of losing overall market share. Probably keeping new pickup efforts to essentials like the new half ton Cummins diesel.

The truth is, vehicle manufacturers will be catering less to the American consumers and more abroad. Anything else is the tail wagging the dog. Better get use to it. Manufacturers will continue to fall all over themselves to get into China.

Although toyota did a interior refresh on the tundra,they are going to bleed their very old engine/trans technology to the bitter end hoping noboby will notice.The taco is suffering the same fate.You have to be crazy,or outright stupid to buy one of their trucks.Maybe they just find it to hard and expensive to compete with the big three so will just their offerings fad into the sunset.Whatever the reason it doesn't seem to make any sense at all.For at least the American pickup market,your either in and competitive,or your going to lose,period.Jmho...

Personally, I had no problem installing a Tekonsha P3 brake controller in my 2011 Tundra. However, I totally agree there are mixed messages coming from the Tundra shop at Toyota. Back on '07 the push for the Tundra was much, much more than it is today. There were testosterone filled commercials and an open invitation for the competition bring it on. Also, there was the Tundra Deconstructed series. Now, there is complete opposite, but then we now have the TRD Pro? Just plan weird. Adding options for buyers is a simple way to boost the sale price and profit for each vehicle, something that is more important considering there is limited production capacity.

Anyhoot, the guys who ran the Tundra project back in '07 knew what they were doing and had the balls to back it up.

With a strong reluctance to add options for current technology, I can't help to think that the change in the engineering team back in 2010 is the primary cause.

Ha! Ha! In the back of my head I heard Toyota fanboys scream "But my Tundra will out-tow a 1-ton! It pulled the space shuttle!"

Well, apparently the space shuttle trailer didn't have electric brakes. Adding an aftermarket brake control is not even close to the utilizing the modern anti-lock and anti-sway technology already available in all 1/2-ton trucks. In today's world, not offering a brake controller is like not offering a trailer hitch or a tailgate on a pickup truck or sturdy tow hooks on a 4x4.

sounds like their announcement was fishing for buyer input and they either didn't get any or buyers just don't use them for towing any more than a John boat.

Having installed a brake controller in a pickup that had zero factory wiring, I fully understand how important it is to have the appropriate plug available. However, for the life of me I don't see why PickupTrucks.com considers this a make or break issue for truck buyers. Just exactly what does a factory installed brake controller accomplish that can't be done by a Tekonsha P3 for $150?

@Montesa_VR
I still remember the days of having to install my own brake controller. It's wasn't a big deal, but at times it could be a hassle depending on the truck.

I think the issue is that it is now something buyers expect to find on a truck. You're correct in saying that it may not be a make or break issue, however, I think probably is a bigger deal than that.

Lets say someone needs to buy a full size truck and has no brand preference. Domestic trucks are dominate the market so chances are the buyer will take a look at the domestic trucks for sure.

Few would argue that the Tundra is a better truck than the domestic trucks, so if it is already lacking in other areas, things like not having a integrated brake controller could actually be the deal killer. When a buyer is trying to make up their mind between several trucks, the small things can be the deciding factor.

Geez my 2012 Ram Express HEMI has a standard factory trailer brake controller with the tow package. Its a $20K truck! Wow Toyota???

I actually read an article where Mike Sweers said they don't want to install integrated trailer brake controllers because their studies show most people install aftermarket units. Well excuse me! Up until the last few years that was our only option on any make of truck. I'd have to say that this diehardtoyotafan would not be buying a Tundra if I had to tomorrow.

@diehardtoyotafan
Agreed. Toyota really needs to get with the game. I have no desire to see them fail.

Competition in the truck market benefits everyone out there. I get the feeling that Toyota doesn't quite take it's full size trucks seriously or that it thinks they can get buy with a strategy from 5-10 years ago.

I guess the other question comes up as to why have an integrated brake controller installed if you never plan to need it? You certainly don't need it for a pop-up camper or typical boat trailer (at least up to 25' boat). You still need the hitch, true--and basic wiring--but will the trailer you tow even have brakes other than surge type? Do those trailer brakes really do any good for limiting sway automatically? How is that sway sensed? Sure, I'll grant that manually pulling the lever over can apply trailer brakes and maybe help reduce sway... but how does it do so automatically? If it's an integrated system, why even have a manual lever on it?

Yes, I do understand that if you're going to pull a load of 5,000# or more a manual brake controller is mandatory but unless you're buying a truck specifically for towing purposes of such heavy loads, why bother? Back in the '70s, '80s and even '90s I never towed anything heavier than a twenty-foot boat with a 75-horse outboard motor--that came in at about 1,000# plus trailer. I used a dinky little 4-horse riding lawnmower to park that boat in a garage. Yes, the car had a brake controller in it for towing a sixteen-foot and later twenty-foot travel trailer that each weighed in over 5,000 pounds, but I never towed anything that needed it. I don't expect I ever will, even though I tow the occasional U-Haul trailer.

In other words, just how critical is this integrated controller if the owner simply never plans to tow a heavy trailer? Is it worth the cost to design and build the system if fewer than 5% of buyers ever needs it?

FLASHBACK:

"I'm not sure how you measure "catching up" but beyond an excellent powertrain, the 2nd gen Tundra has been a laggard. Three years in and it still doesn't offer an integrated trailer brake controller. Trailer sway control for 2011 will only brake the truck's wheels, not the trailer's too. GM and Ford beat Tundra's fuel economy." - Mike Levine

"It will be a FAIL if Toyota doesn't give the Tundra an integrated trailer brake controller."

- Mike Levine, on the act of the 2011 Tundra not offering an ITBC

-----------

@Curtis: Wait. I get it. You are hating on me because I think Toyota can and should make a better full-size pickup.

If wanting Toyota to make a half-ton pickup with all of the bells, whistles and quality the competition offers is wrong, I don't want to be right.
Posted by: Mike Levine | May 15, 2011 5:00:12 PM


--------

Lack of an integrated trailer brake controller for Tundra is definitely a FAIL, especially in 2011. They should have added it at the same time as trailer sway control.

By the way, I think I've been complementary of Toyota's efforts to set trailer tow ratings using the draft SAE standards ahead of the other OEs, even when it meant dialing back max tow.
Posted by: Mike Levine | May 16, 2011 9:49:58 AM


@hemi lol: You say "There are VERY few trucks of any manufacturer built with this accessory for starters, many folks dont want one."

Ford, GM and Ram make up about 85% of the full-size pickup market and all offer an optional ITBC. That's not a few trucks.

The wiring has been there since at least 2007. It's a no-brainer to add an ITBC and should have been done two years ago.
Posted by: Mike Levine | May 16, 2011 3:41:58 PM

Last FLASHBACK and it's a good one:


I'm going to say one more thing on this matter and consider it closed.

The Tundra can tow more than 10,500 lbs. Most states require a TBC when pulling trailers with a GVW over 3,000 lbs. It's a pain to add an aftermarket TBC - as evidenced by the cuts on our hands during the 2008 Half-Ton Shootout.

If Toyota is going to make a point about the Tundra having added trailer sway control for 2011, then they should have gone the full distance and given their buyers the option of an ITBC.

If I'm wrong for pointing out a simple feature that would make the Tundra a better tow rig from the factory, then I don't want to be right.
Posted by: Mike Levine | May 16, 2011 4:43:43 PM

Lastly I'll add that you'll never get the same integration with an aftermarket trailer brake controller compared to an integrated trailer brake controller.

I'd want a system that was designed to work with my ECM, transmission, ABS, brake pressure sensors and productivity screen to essentially make the trailer braking system part of the pickup's.

So maybe someone can report on the differences between aftermarket and factory integrated.

Toyota is screwing up badly on all their vehicles. The Tundra had a lot of formerly standard features on 2013 Tundra's missing on the 2014's. Totally unacceptable, and the IBC not even being an option is asinine.

One of these days Toyota will listen to their customers, while they still have them.

"Like the J2807 towing standards (where Toyota showed tremendous leadership), it's our guess this is an important issue for every pickup consumer who is considering a truck purchase."

It's ironic that they talk about being J2807 towing compliant, but don't need a trailer brake controller.

Recently my wife wanted a new vehicle,(like last week) and so we set out to look at what's out there from all the brands/makes.While at a Nissan dealer she wanted to test drive the Versa Note.The saleman asked what I thought and I said it was up to her,not me.I'd rather look at trucks.They had their trucks across the street,and I told him no,I didn't want to look at brand new 10 year old trucks.He knew exactly what I was talking about.It's pretty much the same with toyota for both the tundra and the taco.They might be nice and shiney with zero miles,but they are still an old truck.There is no viable excuse for either nissan or toyota to have let their trucks languish like they have.Only the low-information types would even consider buying any of the aforementioned trucks.It just doesn't make any sense at all.

I wouldn't tow a large trailer with a Tundra, or and 1/2 ton for that matter.

I am puzzled as to why Toyota is resisting adding an integrated trailer brake controller if for no other reason than it being an unofficial industry standard.

That is about as far as I will take it in support of this article.

Did any of us see this level of disdain aimed at Ford for opting out of J2807?

Toyota just came off a massive witch hunt and subsequent fines and one wonders why they are nervous about adding integrated technology to their products?

Toyota PR should of borrowed a page from the Domestic three minus one and said we will consider it with the next model truck.

2014 was the next model. Tundra advertised the 2014 as "ALL NEW" on the website and marketing materials. Toyota told us it would have an ITBC. I remember quite a few folks that were accusing PUTC of bias because they were not waiting for the 2014 with the ITBC for the last shootout.

Mike Levine, as a Toyota owner, I'm not attacking you for alerting the world that the new Tundra won't be offered with a brake controller. I disagree about the significance of it. I'm sure my opinion would be be different if I had to install aftermarket controllers every time I did a comparison test, but since I typically drive a vehicle for 10-15 years, half an hour to swap my P3 into a new truck doesn't really concern me.

Yes, if anti trailer sway electronics actually applied the trailer brakes in some intelligent fashion that was impossible for an aftermarket unit, that would be an advantage in an emergency. However, I've seen no evidence that any of the manufacturers are actually doing that, and if Ford is doing it, I hope it is more reliable than their Ecoboost electronics and sound systems.

To the rest of you, you beclown yourselves when you say Tundra owners are low information buyers. You are ignoring a foundational truth -- virtually every Tundra owner has intimate experience with Ford, GM and Chrysler, while the vast majority of Big 3 buyers have never owned a Toyota. So who's the low information buyer?

Let's compare service records at 300,000 miles. Then we can have a conversation about quality.

To the rest of you, you beclown yourselves when you say Tundra owners are low information buyers. You are ignoring a foundational truth -- virtually every Tundra owner has intimate experience with Ford, GM and Chrysler, while the vast majority of Big 3 buyers have never owned a Toyota. So who's the low information buyer?

Posted by: Montesa_VR | May 26, 2014 1:17:22 PM


@Montesa_VR
Where do you come up with this stuff? I would be willing to bet that many here have owned a Toyota at some point. I have. I had a bad experience and it was my last Toyota.

I know plenty of guys who will buy a domestic big three truck and then an import car for the wife. Not uncommon at all. What you're saying is that only Toyota buyers drive other stuff too. It's not true.

ToxicSludge was talking about Nissan and yes they are behind the competition, just like Toyota is. Nothing can change that.

We have the ability to determine all the features a vehicle has before hitting the dealership, so if someone goes and buys a vehicle that doesn't match up to the competition, it is likely an uniformed decision.

Rumor is the Tundra will be getting an ITBC and a larger gas tank in 2016. About 7 years after the F-150. It could be 8 or 9 years if they wait for the next gen.

"Something doesn't quite smell right here. Either this is a good safety technology feature (and investment for Toyota) for people who tow or it's not. And if Toyota wants to position itself as a serious alternative to the other major players in the segment (all of whom have the option), then it seems to us it needs to start with some of the more credible and commonly used technologies that support duties the Tundra might be called to do, namely towing." - Mark Williams

This is very true. Toyota engineers like Mike Sweers likes to ignore or pick and choose market demand from Toyota surveys and listens to their inner circle. Like how Sweers thought reclining rear seats were cool, but didn't think to ask anyone else what they thought.

The cosmetic stuff being added to the Tundra isn't new. Brake controller and bigger gas tank have gotten a lot of attention from the media and truck buyers. What does that say about the current lack of leadership at Toyota when it comes to options for the Tundra?

I agree with Mark Williams; something doesn't smell right. There just seems to be a lack of commitment when it comes to pickup trucks.

i have used many aftermarket TBC and none of them work as good as my Ram. My Ford and Chevy buds say the same thing. If you get the aftermarket one set for the highway, then its jerky in town. Set it for city and it comes in to slow on the highway. No comparision. By the way, GM hasn't figured out how to put a bigger gas tank on either. If I remember right they said the 2014 would have it. Fail

@fredtheman
GM could easily put in a bigger gas tank. They don't want to. A larger gas tank means more weight when filled, so it can affect their MPG numbers.

Let me see,on this forum everyone has a critique on the new gm's/fords/rams.They don't have this or that,the styling etc.All well and fine as all of us have different needs and wants in our trucks.But with toyota and nissan,mild refreshes is all you get,period.Same ol drivelines and rotten mpg's.Toy and nissan are behind the FE curve bigtime,and we all know that,just as toy and nissan knows it.Why would anybody want to buy a brand new truck that has very/extremely outdated engine/trans/and fuel efficiency standards?? This does not make any sense to me at all.Like I said before,if they really WANT to play in our truck buyin',they needs to bring something new to the table,IE:Nissan will be bringing in a all new Titan diesel.To go along with that V8 Cummins,they will have a driveline to match this upcoming beast.Same with the Frontier when it becomes available with the Cummins ISF diesel.Meanwhile back at the ranch toy is still mulling over whether or not to offer a IBC???? Get a grip folks,they haven't fallen behind,they just plain stopped.This is a prime example of why I STOPPED being brand loyal.Being brand loyal stops one from keeping their options open to the possibility of buying something more suited to your specific needs and wants.At least in over 6 decades on this earth,that's how I see things.Flame on....

Toyota even in Australia just doesn't appear to supply the latest and greatest technological offerings.

Just look at transmissions, when most are running a six speed, Toyota still offer 5spds with 4spd autos.

Even with airbags Toyota lags.

Even inside the cabin, most companies offer a much more lavish interior and Toyota are more or less a generation behind.

I think it is more about maximising profit by Toyota than a safety related issue.

Toyota tends to lags in their offering of what becomes the 'norm' in the industry.

Then they charge slightly more for their products. The odd thing is they sell.

So, maybe Toyota's decision is the correct one.

Just because someone else is offering a product does Toyota have too?

Also, the reality is how many pickups tow? How many are SUVs that might tow a few thousand pounds?

I think we must also look at what the AVERAGE pickup person does with their vehicle.

It seems many on this site are locked into this "Best in Class" mentality.

Does the "Best in Class" actually give you what you need?

Does "Best in Class" give you the best pickup?

I really don't understand this biggest, quickest, mostest, heaviest, etc stuff is all about.

If I need to tow 5 000lbs what would I buy?

The Best in Class?

Then they charge slightly more for their products. The odd thing is they sell.

So, maybe Toyota's decision is the correct one.

Posted by: Big Al from Oz | May 26, 2014 2:44:01 PM


@Big Al from Oz
That is a good point. I believe Tundras/Tacomas sell is because of the perception of higher quality compared to the Ford/GM/Ram.

That is the reason people still buy them despite not competing will with the other trucks well.

"Best in Class" is purely advertising. How many people buy a truck just because it's supposed to be best in class? Certainly not me. People are more likely to buy based on brand preference than whether it's best in class.

@Big Al - "The Best In Class" - problem is by who's standards?

Do sales mean best in class?

or

Who wins PUTC or TFL or TruckTrend or OffRoader etc.??????

I've said this before, people search for validation of their preconceived beliefs.

We've seen this with Rambo's and other fanboys. They mine the net for a test that validates their belief and will deride any test that says the opposite.
(same for politics, trade etc.)

@Big Al - "The Best In Class" - problem is by who's standards?

Do sales mean best in class?

or

Who wins PUTC or TFL or TruckTrend or OffRoader etc.??????

I've said this before, people search for validation of their preconceived beliefs.

We've seen this with Rambo's and other fanboys. They mine the net for a test that validates their belief and will deride any test that says the opposite.
(same for politics, trade etc.)

I agree with HM, "best in class" is all advertising.I buy the truck that best suits my needs at the time I'm looking.Having said that,I reiterate,I'm not brand loyal.Being that I'm not brand loyal that opens the door for me at any rate,to look at all 3 makers of trucks,then chose which one fills my bill.When Nissan comes out with their new lines,that is a 4th door for me to open.Toyota however doesn't have anything that will bring to the dealers and look.As it stands right now,they are a waste of my time.Maybe in the future that will change,I don't know.

Of course the Tundra sells, but how well?

Start with the 2nd gen.

2007 Tundra sold 196,555
2013 Tundra sold 112,732
That's a -43% drop.

2007 F-150 sold 690,589
2013 F-series 763,402
+11% increase.

2007 Ram sold 358,295
2007 Ram sold 355,673
-.7% drop

Tundra sales have dropped 43% percent, while Ram only lost less than 1% during the same time period, and Ford actually gained 11%. If Tundra is making all the right decisions and Tundra is "selling" so great why have Tundra sales fallen so much compared to the others?

@Lou_BC
I'm looking forward to the 'banter' when the testing is done.

I'll have a field day!

There will be some incredibly stupid comments, I can promise you that.

Ken, 2007 was a brand new model for the Tundra it did very well that first year which will skew the numbers. What did Toyota sell in 2006?

@Big Al from Oz -

" in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew13:42


@ Toxic,

I agree with you about Toyota. They have fallen behind. Yes, they have the reliability but they have had 10 years to prefect it.

I like my antique Nissan Titan. I love the looks, the way it drives. But unlike Toyota, Nissan does have n excuse for taking longer to produce their next generation titan. Nissan entered into a contract with Ram to build their next truck. Obviously, with the Fiat merger the Nissan deal fell through. So Nissan had to go back to drawing board for the next Titan.

With Fred Diaz the Titan got delayed to make changes he felt was necessary. Rumors are already flying. Unlike Toyota, Nissan is coming out with an 8 speed tranny, larger 5.6 V8, the 5.0 Diesel, and possibly a smaller 5.0 V8.

The 14 year old Titan has integrated brake control, why wouldn't an "all new" tundra offer one?

For a company like Toyota with all their billions you would think they would be wiping the floor with everyone else in the truck market. They have a lot of catching up to do. I think after the recalls they are afraid to add innovative ideas that haven’t been perfected.

@Roadwhale,
We have after market (Prodigy etc) controllers, but no integrated brake controllers standard but a lot of emphasis has been placed on "the lump you are towing". So ESC is standard, disc brakes are optional and now ABS is being developed.
http://www.caravancampingsales.com.au/news/caravan-abs-coming-43356

@Roadwhale,
Should have read Electronic Stability Control/ Independent breakaway braking systems on many Caravans built here.
http://www.caravancampingsales.com.au/news/caravan-abs-coming-43356

The truth is Toyota has given up on the idea of making a dent in the full-size pickup business. The 1st gen Tundra was their first stab at a full-size but it wasn't a huge success. Then they went out all with the 2007 Tundra. It got some good reviews and looked like it might contend with the F-150, Ram and Silverado but it never got market traction.

Here's why Toyota has given up on the Tundra.

First, we're in the middle of full-size pickup truck boom right now and Toyota and Ford were working on a hybrid truck.That joint venture ended. Ford said they'll finish it on their own. Toyota hasn't said much. So I am wondering if Toyota thinks the Tundra is not worth the investment so that's why it ended.

Second, Toyota comes out with a new Tundra for 2014 but it really isn't new. It's a 7 year old truck at this point and it's just refreshed. New grille, nicer interior, but it's really the same truck. The reviews say it is really dated.

Ford trucks are updated all the time, Ram just did a big update for 2013, GM has their new trucks. It's clear that Toyota doesn't think the Tundra is worth a big investment.

They will sell it for as long as they can as it is. They will do without things a ITBC, maybe they will put a diesel in it a few years from now, but after the 2007 Tundra failed to meet its goals, it is clear Toyota iwll not put any more big money in it to win the market.

Ken nailed it. First two gens were big efforts, but sales flops. Toyota has thrown in the towel on the full-size pickup business. Toyota will just let the Tundra wither on the vine with occasional efforts at updating whenever they feel like it.

@Ken
Toyota is making a lot more money on other vehicles it sells in the US. The Pickup sector makes a tidy profit for it in the US, but is not the main driver for Toyota in the US.

The basic theme of this article is simple. Toyota is lagging and not playing the same game as the domestic big three. Why spend 35k for an outdated power train and a few options when the same money gets you a lot more with another manufacturer's product. Mike Levine is simply saying that if Toyota wants to stay competitive charging top dollar for their product, they need to offer a product that is competitive with the competition..... or lose sales. I liked Toyota up until the last two years. Now it seems they are trying to do as little as they can to sell their same old product.

@ Ken: That leaves the door open to a new Taco then? They will have a run for market share once the all new gm midsize twins hit the market later this year,and a bigger row to hoe when the diesel twins hit the market.I have to wonder if toy has an all new taco in the pipeline. As far as I'm concerned,the more oems that get into our truck market,(competition) the better for us consumers.

@ Nismo Titan: One of my son-in-laws has a Titan and loves it.He admits it's a gas hog,but love is love,LOL.On a personal note,I for one am looking forward to the new Nissan's.

Toyota's North American strategy with regard to SUVs and pickups is a complete mystery. Prior to 2009 or so, the Big 3 were not taking any big chances with their half ton pickups or big SUVs.

Ford, Nissan and eventually Toyota brought competitive vehicles like the Expedition, the Sequoia and the Armada to compete with GM's big SUVs and GM whipped their butts with a platform that is a decades-old approach that's been upgraded just enough to be CAFE compliant and able to withstand the rigors of safety testing.

Despite all that, Nissan and Toyota have made big investments here, even built plants here and their half ton trucks are almost non existent on the highway.

@ Toxic,

hahahah.. There is no denying that fact the Titan likes to eat gas. But I had a Tundra and like the Titan a lot more.

@ Papa jim,

As for SUVs I wouldn't say the Armada, Sequoia, or Expedition are far behind. I see tons of them all around here in Florida. The Tahoe is a fleet special. It's a good truck but every police agency, VIP escorts, Government, etc use them. We have about 200 of them where I work alone. Let's face it, GM and Ford own the fleet market and I think they always will. (Not a bad thing)

As for trucks, I know Nissan has said they don't have the capacity to try and overtake Ford or GM in the truck market. Diaz has said they will ensure the Titan stays competitive. Thankfully, Nissan has Diaz.

Toyota I think actually thought they would take over the truck market. They too, lack capacity. The Tundra is a capable truck but it doesn't have near the configurations of the big 3. They lack innovation, they are still using an open C frame, and the 5.7 is the only real engine to get. For example, my Titan in fully loaded 4x4 configuration can still haul more than a Tundra and tow 500 lbs less. The new Titan is rumored to tow around 13k.

I think Toyota is about 5 years behind and I think due to the recall crisis back in 2010 they spent so much time on the recall issues they are playing catch up now. The question is, will the spend the money on the tundra to allow them to catch up?

I guess time will tell.



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