The pickup truck market is just about as competitive now as it’s ever been before. There’s a new Chevy Silverado and a new GMC Sierra. There’s a new Ram 1500. There’s a new Ford F-Series Super Duty. There’s a new Nissan Titan. In fact, every truck manufacturer has something new to offer to consumers, except for one: Toyota.
Admittedly, Toyota recently came out with an updated version of its midsize Tacoma pickup, which has always been popular. But the full-size truck market is especially hot right now, and especially competitive, and Toyota is sliding by with an unusually old version of the Tundra. Indeed, Toyota’s full-size truck debuted for the 2008 model year, which makes it one of the oldest cars on sale — and even though it’s been updated here and there, it’s never had a full refresh during that period, like its rivals have.
And it isn’t just the Tundra. Despite the massive success Toyota has had in recent years with the midsize, body-on-frame 4Runner, there has been no effort to update the larger Sequoia and Land Cruiser. Both the Sequoia and Land Cruiser have also soldiered on for about a decade now, largely unchanged, save for a facelift here and there, and the occasional added feature or safety technology.
And, so, I ask: Toyota, can we please get new versions of these vehicles?
The current Tundra is a nice truck, but it doesn’t even come close to the fuel economy of the F-150 with its aluminum construction, or the luxury of the new Ram 1500 or the nifty tailgate configurability in the Silverado and Sierra. The Tundra is outclassed in this segment, and it shows — and it’s time for a new version. Indeed, sales figures show this: The Tundra is hovering around 115,000 sales per year, down from nearly 200,000 when it first came out, and laughably far behind the domestic competition.
The Sequoia, too, is hurting. Last year, Toyota sold just 12,000 units of the Sequoia, down from about 45,000 during its peak year of 2005, and around 31,000 when the current model was last redesigned about 10 years ago. By comparison, the Sequoia’s biggest competitors — the Chevy Tahoe and the Ford Expedition — have both been redesigned recently, and they’re doing better than you might think: The Tahoe shifted 98,000 units last year, and it moved 103,000 units in 2016, which was its best year since 2007.
And then there’s the Land Cruiser. I know the ultra-luxury Land Cruiser increasingly doesn’t fit into the Toyota product portfolio, but it’s also a legend in the off-roading world — and the new one is horribly outdated and inefficient. The few people who buy Land Cruisers are ready for a new one — and it’s time for that to happen.
And so, Toyota, in a world where the SUV and the pickup truck is increasingly the king, I must again demand, on behalf of SUV and truck lovers everywhere: Give us some new products! I suspect you will be rewarded with higher sales.
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