Autofield Blog

Toyota’s Take on Trucks


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28. October 2013

Light-duty pickup trucks are far and away the most important vehicles for Ford, GM and Chrysler. Specifically, in 2012, according to Autodata, Ford shipped 645,316 F Series; GM moved 418,212 Chevy Silverados and 157,185 GMC Sierras; and Chrysler 293,363 Rams. No cars offered by the three companies come close to those sales numbers. In the case of Ram, know that the entire Dodge car sales were 258,100 in 2012, so Ram outsold Avenger, Caliber (yes, they sold some), Challenger, Charger, Dart, and Viper combined.

Clearly, pickup trucks is a category that is critically important to the OEMs. And it is one that they handily dominate.

Sweers

Mike Sweers and the 2014 Toyota Tundra

In 2012 Nissan sold just 21,576 Titans. And while Toyota did much better with 101,621 Tundras, the Other Guys clearly dominate.

Mike Sweers is the chief engineer for the 2014 Toyota Tundra. He is also the chief engineer for the Toyota Tacoma. Both the Tundra and the mid-size Tacoma are manufactured in a plant in San Antonio, Texas. They buy a lot of trucks in Texas.

While on the subject of sales and trucks, it is worth noting that in the mid-size category in 2012, Ford shipped 55,435 Rangers, GM moved 36,840 Chevy Colorados and 19,366 GMC Canyons, and Chrysler 0 Dakotas.

In 2012 Nissan sold 55,435 Frontiers. And Toyota did better with 141,365 Tacomas, so this is a case where the Other Guys clearly fall behind.

So John McElroy of Autoline, Peter DeLorenzo of Autoextremist, and I talk with Mike Sweers about the Tundra.

And he makes an interesting point: He’s not concerned with engineering trucks that will sell in huge numbers. He’s concerned with engineering trucks that have the highest levels of quality, durability and reliability. He’s interested in engineering trucks that will provide the customers with what they want and what they need and what they will realize provides them with functional and financial benefits.

And Sweers points out that the plant in San Antonio is running at capacity, so it isn’t like they’re not hard at work producing trucks.

Sweers on the Tundra as well as McElroy, DeLorenzo and Vasilash on recent auto-related developments (including McElroy’s observations on his recent trip to China last week where he was gasping at the amount of air pollution in Wuhan) can be found right here:

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