Toyota Plans to Change U.S. Car-Truck Ratio

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Toyota has devised a plan to reshuffle its product mix to be more in line with U.S. consumer demand; that means it needs to make more crossovers, SUVs and — especially — pickup trucks.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), Toyota wants to change its car-to-truck ratio from 50-50 to a more customer-driven 40-60 split. Unfortunately, Toyota's San Antonio pickup plant is running three shifts, as is its Tijuana, Mexico, Tacoma plant. The Tijuana plant's production schedule will remain in place until current upgrades are complete, which should make the plant more productive by the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018.

During the last few years, combined Tacoma and Tundra sales totals have steadily increased: 2013 combined sales were approximately 272,000 units, 2014 saw close to 275,000 units and 2015 totaled nearly 300,000 units. For 2016, the total number of Toyota pickups sold is likely to reach more than 310,000 units.

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Comments

Just be carefull toyota, you dont want to end up like GM in 2008, and likely in the future, if you put all eggs in the truck basket, as soon as gas goes up again, and it will eventually, bye bye profit

Expect big changes to the Tundra around 2019. This strategy makes no sense otherwise. With increased midsized competition coming from Ford possibly Ram, the Tacoma is likely at its peak sales numbers.

Ever since GM ran those ads comparing the car guy to the truck guy, the demand for trucks, particularly their mid size trucks, have grown exponentially. The entire mid size truck segment has benefited. Too bad some manufactures don't have a mid size offering to share in the profits.

Toyota does not need to increase truck production. They sell more cars than most automakers and [like Honda and Nissan] can't compete in the full-size truck segment--that's reality.

Ford's sacred cow is the F-series. The huge profit margins they accrue from this line allows them to field poor sellers like the Taurus, the Lincoln lineup and to fund fun projects like the GT and Raptor.

There is a line around the block just to get on the Raptor waiting list! You call that unsuccessful failure? Smell that? That is the smell of pure green uncut profit cash in Ford's bank acct. Ford also sells a ston of tiny cars worldwide. Expect their midsize to blow everything else away. Imagine a smaller raptor with a foot and a half of wheel travel for around $25.000. Get what's coming. The new Tundra and new Ram are going to step up the truck game another notch just like the aluminum f150 was a giant progressive surge forward

Nitro - - -

Good thought, but I doubt it will go back almost regardless of fuel prices. It's now a lifestyle thing, and the general population is hungry for wee equipped, crew-cab pickups, 4WD and 2WD. These are, ironically, a return to what many larger cars could do, and feel like, in the late 1930's and late 1040's. Maybe even the 1950's for some.

(Maybe that's the sensation that Lincoln is trying to restore, as opposed to the quick, nimble, and sometimes poorly riding Euro cars.)

Besides, I had no trouble re-doing my budget to drive my pickup ('96 Doge R$m) when Shell V-Power was $4.50 per gallon, as opposed to $2.89 per gallon now.

==========================

This means Toyota is in for the log haul, I agree I doubt they will do major updates to the Taco any time soon. This means hopefully the Tundra will get the attention it deserves.

Maybe Toyota can bring an all new truck to the market like they did in 2007, when the 5.7 Tundra flat out embarrassed the 5.4s F-150s, 6.0s Silverado/Sierra VortecMAX and 5.7s Hemis in every shoot out.

Just be carefull toyota, you dont want to end up like GM in 2008, and likely in the future, if you put all eggs in the truck basket, as soon as gas goes up again, and it will eventually, bye bye profit
Posted by: Nitro | Nov 30, 2016 1:36:06 PM

With the billions Ford has wrapped up in the new upgraded F-150 plants, the move of the F-450+ truck line back to the US, and the gas guzzling "Eco"Boost, you don't have much room to talk.

"Mazda's head of research and development, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, believes real world fuel economy testing will spell the end of smaller capacity turbocharged engines, instead favouring bigger capacity, naturally-aspirated powerplants."

http://www.drive.com.au/motor-news/mazda-bigger-engines-are-better-than-turbos-20161117-gsrdgi.html

Glad the taxpayers had to foot the bill for Ford's ecobust. Unreliable and inefficient. And they're even worse when matched up with that junk dual-clutch transmission.

"Ford also sells a ton of tiny cars worldwide." - juanfo

The same could be said for MANY of Ford's competitors.

"Expect their midsize to blow everything else away. Imagine a smaller raptor with a foot and a half of wheel travel for around $25.000." - juanfo

Ford ignored the midsize market, told consumers if they wanted a midsize they should buy an F150, and now they're scrambling to copy the successful Colorado/Canyon. The Ford Ranger is obviously a ways off and a true ZR2/TRD Pro competitor is a pipe dream as of now.

"The new Tundra and new Ram are going to step up the truck game another notch just like the aluminum f150 was a giant progressive surge forward." - juanfo

Toyota says the Tundra is a niche vehicle. No way will they invest the huge amount of money it requires to make the Tundra a game changer. At most they'll get their outdated rust bucket caught up to 2014 half-ton fuel economy numbers and call it good. That probably won't happen for a few more years.

And the Ram... Fiat doesn't have the money to make it more efficient outside of dumping the 5.7 for something more efficient, drilling holes in the frame to lighten it up, or making it out of aluminum just like that embarrassing 2015 F-150.

And Ford's 2015 F-150 aluminum wonder truck wasn't a "giant progressive surge forward". On paper its EPA numbers are great but are a failure in real world use. The aluminum body is weaker, more likely to have paint issues (especially considering Ford has a long history of no being able to paint aluminum), and continues to have quality control issues. The EcoBoost is a gas guzzler as Rammins pointed out:

"Ward's editors never came even remotely close to matching the 2.7's claimed 26 miles per gallon (for two-wheel-drive models), with the truck's computer indicating between 17.6 and 19 mpg over a 250-odd-mile run. Calculating the fuel economy manually revealed an even more depressing 15.6 miles per gallon."

http://www.autoblog.com/2015/01/07/ford-ecoboost-poor-fuel-mileage-complaints-wards/

This means Toyota is in for the log haul, I agree I doubt they will do major updates to the Taco any time soon. This means hopefully the Tundra will get the attention it deserves.

Maybe Toyota can bring an all new truck to the market like they did in 2007, when the 5.7 Tundra flat out embarrassed the 5.4s F-150s, 6.0s Silverado/Sierra VortecMAX and 5.7s Hemis in every shoot out.
Posted by: john | Nov 30, 2016 4:04:24 PM

With the slow sales of the Tundra and the cost to improve economy numbers to get it caught up to the half-ton market leaders, I find it doubtful. Toyota keeps cutting Tundra production numbers to boost Tacoma production. Not to mention, as NoQDRTundra has mentioned previously, Mike Sweers told Tim over at TundraHQ that the Tundra is a "niche" vehicle. Hence why the truck has been basically ignored since 2007 and a facelift in 2014.

Rumor has it the 2018 Tundra will (finally) receive an 8-speed transmission. It could either be geared in a way to improve towing numbers or improve fuel economy. The engine may receive an update, but it will likely be a downgrade if we look at Toyota's strategy with the Tacoma, where the 3.5 has been heavily criticized for lacking the power the old 4.0L V6 had. And if the 8-speed is tuned anything like the 6-speed in the Tacoma, it'll be another disappointment. Be prepared for a transmission that lugs the engine with early upshifts and refuses to downshift unless you hammer on the throttle.

I don't see the Tundra being an all-new truck. Expect it to finally get an 8-speed and possibly an engine update at the most. Maybe even thinner steel to reduce weight. Anything beyond that is unlikely considering the pickup truck market is slowing down and the Tundra's competitors dominating the market. The slow selling Titan/Titan XD may also spook Toyota, making a heavy investment in the Tundra too risky.

OPEC is meeting this week to curtail oil production, so expect gas to go up before Christmas.
The Japanese (remember Pearl Harbor)Taco 4X4 TRD Pro should be around $20k, workers in Mexico get paid about $18 bucks a day on the assembly line. Maintenance guys get $25 a day....

Expect to see even smaller trucks hit the US market... especially if fuel prices rise again.

But I still love you Lionel. Definitely have some deep respect for you brother from a different mother.

Remember big al. We need all the anti ford guys we can get here. We vowed to spend as much time here as we can to put down ford and their loyal clowns. I even spent thanksgiving here all day keeping the fight alive.

Toyota's location building trucks in Texas is a huge investment in the North American market, but their trucks need a big shot of new ideas and updates, if not a complete re-engineering of their whole approach.

Each of their trucks looks outdated and are basically 10 year old products with some lipstick.

They would be years behind in product development if they decided to go toe/toe with Ford or GM. Not a good strategy regardless of fuel prices.

Toyota's location building trucks in Texas is a huge investment in the North American market, but their trucks need a big shot of new ideas and updates, if not a complete re-engineering of their whole approach.

Each of their trucks looks outdated and are basically 10 year old products with some lipstick.

They would be years behind in product development if they decided to go toe/toe with Ford or GM. Not a good strategy regardless of fuel prices.
Posted by: papa jim | Nov 30, 2016 10:06:36 PM


^^^^^^^^^^^^^
THIS!

Tundra a niche vehicle? I'd love to see where Sweers said that. If he did he'd be looking for a job. Since 2007 Toyota has sold over one million Tundras. Hardly niche. They will invest in a new Tundra platform and put it on the market by 2019. Believe it.

@Toyturbodiesel

The Tundra is not a mainstream competitor in this space today.

A million trucks in 10 years? How many Corollas and Camry's did they sell in ten years? That question answers itself.

You can't call the Tundra a niche vehicle, regardless of how many they sell. That is completely irrespective. The Tundra is spec-for-spec built to be just like the rest of the half-ton segment, which sells over a million units a year in the US- not a niche.

niche NOT?

@Mr Knowitall

Actually part of your comment is on point, if your time frame is 2012 that is!

By 2012 every competitor with a half ton--except for Nissan, the other niche truck builder--had a truck that was ahead of Toyota's development cycle. For Toyota to be a real player here they need new product.

Unfortunately, the Nissan Titan's slow start is probably giving Toyota execs heartburn, especially when they can just go on building Tacoma's and lead that particular segment until even the most rabid Taco buyers will start looking elsewhere.

Nitro is EXACTLY right.

Be very careful with this ratio. A rise in fuel prices and or an economic downturn/hiccup/recession/whatever (real or imagined) and youre left with a lot of expensive inventory that isn't gonna move until a recovery (real or imagined).

The good news for Toy is they have excellent small and midized cars that sell well and at a profit consistently to fall back on at any time.

This looks almost like more of a goal to hurt its competitors in the truck market namely the big 3 minus 1. Any erosion in market share for these 3 especially to a non big 3 minus 1 competitor is HUGE. EVERYTHING Toy does gradual, and long term so odds are most wont see or realize the danger before its too late (remember the "no one wants those silly little cars from Japan" statements Detroit made from the 70s till the mid 80s?). Truck and larger vehicle profits are all the Big 3 minus 1 consistently have. With this shift I would also expect additional investment in the product and Toy has got the money to do it any time they want. As the Tundra gets closer and closer to finally hitting that American Truck Buyer bullseye its only a matter of time before they become a major in player in yet another market they slowly eased into.

Toyota always slow and late, everyone else was doing this damn near 2 years ago.

The American full size truck market is the largest and most profitable of the whole entire planet. Toyota already is saturated into all the other vehicles. Their only potential for profit growth is in full size trucks. Toyota is smarter than all of us. They know that they need a superior product to compete and I think they have enough clout to make it happen.

I am glad I don't live in the United States!

Where are the November monthly truck sales #'s ? Are we waiting on Ford and their continual dragging their feet again ?

Tundra a niche vehicle? I'd love to see where Sweers said that. If he did he'd be looking for a job. Since 2007 Toyota has sold over one million Tundras. Hardly niche. They will invest in a new Tundra platform and put it on the market by 2019. Believe it.
Posted by: Toyturbodiesel | Dec 1, 2016 3:25:11 AM

"We have to understand what we’re trying to sell. Trucks are a very well established segment. And how you treat that segment or how you break into that segment may be completely different. For Tundra, it’s more of what we call a niche truck."

Mike Sweers
Toyota Chief Engineer
September 2016 interview on TundraHQ

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/tV0hFNWduQU/hqdefault.jpg

I might quibble with a couple of points being made by the rest of you. First, on the whole issue of how gas prices affect pickup sales, I don't see gas prices returning to the over $3 level for any long term. Even if OPEC can make good on their agreement to pump a tiny bit less oil, US producers will enjoy making up the difference. And long term, a new president means a new EPA and a new Department of Interior. One of the most ridiculous reasons gas prices soar in the spring is the refineries trying to produce 50 different recipes of gasoline to meet state regulations. Sweep that away and wipe all the little localized shortages and a lot of refinery costs. And there will be drilling in places where the oil can be produced more cheaply.

Second, a great deal of pickup fuel economy effort by the manufacturers is directed at meeting the ridiculous CAFE requirements rather than to meet consumer demand. We would all like to have a pickup that could tow a 10,000 pound trailer and still get 30 mpg, but we wouldn't all like to pay for it. How much profit do you think Ford has given up to sell their aluminum, turbocharged F-150 at a competitive price? And it will be years before we know whether the resulting fuel savings will be exceeded by cost of insurance and repairs.

I would bet on a relaxing of Corporate Average Fuel Economy targets and long term stability on somewhat lower priced gasoline. Factor those into your thoughts about how the truck makers will compete in the next decade.



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