AutoGuide Toyota Tundra Interview

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AutoGuide did a pretty unique interview with Mike Sweers and the Toyota Tundra. Here is the video.

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  1. Joe says:

    I’ve seen Mike Sweers step out a lot in the last couple of months explaining Toyota’s position on some of the decisions they made with the new Tundra. Seems more like damage control than anything else. For example, why does he keep answering questions about the back seat no longer having the slide/recline feature? Because people are complaining about losing that feature. Yet his response is that the customer wanted a lift up seat based on a survey they did. Seems like that survey wasn’t accurate because so many are complaining about losing this feature, including myself.

  2. ricqik says:

    I think they are surveying the wrong crowd.

  3. Brian says:

    I think Mike Sweers is doing everything right with this truck. I own a 2012 and im getting the 1794 and I couldn’t be more please with this truck. People that are complaining and im not one of them have to be patient cause I think each year or so they will continue to make the right improvements that need to be done. These other trucks that are coming out some of the stuff there talking so much about Tundra has been doing it already. So I love the Tundra and id love to sit down with Mike and the Tundra and talk truck.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, almost all of what I hear from Mike Sweers makes sense.

      Like his point on the motor, the aluminum V8 Toyota engines are still better then what the big 3 offer. The push rods need to go. I would hope people would appreciate the quality of the motor they have and not push Toyota to put out junk.

      Let them get the next revision right like the did the last one.

      I also agree with his point about lockers. I have many friends with Tacoma trucks. My 6000 pound 3/4 ton truck simply can not go into the same places as a smaller Tacoma, the same for the Tundra and when we need to haul heavy loads it not reasonable to expect their Tacomas to do my my RAM diesel does. A heavy truck is just too big for the kind of off road conditions needed for a locking rear differential. I just doubt there is enough demand for it and a locker for a heavier truck which can tow 10000 pounds or more has got to be expensive.

  4. Patrick says:

    Although it’s great to hear from Toyota first hand to possibly clear up some of the design changes whether good or bad, however it was typical deflection answers for several of the questions being asked. For example, why don’t they offer or consider having a 6.5 foot box vice the 5.5 on the Crewmax and his answer immediately was redirected and deflected to state they do have the 6.5 & 8.0 foot beds on the Doublecab models. “We thought it was best to keep the short box for the Crewmax” meaning Toyota didn’t consider the voice of the customers in this case and contradicts his statement of providing what the customers want during the rear seat segment. I understand this is only the third (fourth if you count the T-100) attempt for Toyota on the full-size truck market and they have made great improvements along the way however, they should honestly consider and digest what the current real customer base actually would like to see on future models. BTW, I have a 2007 Crewmax Limited and love every bit of the vehicle. I also like some of the improvements to the dash and interior of the 2014 model but I do dislike the Ford-like box, overly confident grill and disproportionate headlights. I am however a great fan of Toyota and always will be. Great strides and I’m sure they will continue to improve future models.

  5. LJC says:

    Quick Post:
    The number one option missing from the Tundra are options.

    No selectable eLocker, no power inverter, no 6 1/2 foot bed for the crew cab-that was a question on the HD Tundra survey-, larger fuel tank, convienence features etc..

    The options I list already exist for other brands. There’s nothing here to invent. I think the limiting factor has to do with assembly logistics.

    Second, I’ve filled out the surveys and when I answer them, I answer for the commerical guys as well–because I don’t think the surveys go to the commerical guys.

    Third, “President to Sweers: give the consumer what they want, not what you think they want”. Hmm, that was interesting.

    There’s too much focus on the negative, so to be fair, I will state why I bought the Tundra and the things I like; it’ll take me some time to put it together–Hmm, may be another article here for current owners to do the same?

  6. T says:

    I would agree there were a lot of deflection answers. At the same time I think people are not specific when it comes to powertrain questions.

    Tim if you get a chance…PLEASE…pose Sweers questions like …

    If Akio Toyoda says give the customer what they want, why has Toyota not increased horsepower? Why have you not increased the size of the gas tank? Why have you not introduced fuel saving technology such as variable valve lift, an electric engine fan etc?

    Think of the fast lane truck interviews putting those big wigs in the hot seat with the magic towing dust questions. You know which ones I’m talking about. I

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      I asked some “lower” tier guys and grilled them in Jackson Hole. I was told that everything you mention is “coming.”

      I have also grilled Sweers in Chicago a bit. I’m sure his response would be something along the same lines.

      It is a capacity issue and desire issue. I’m not sure how much Toyota wants to offer lots of options. Frankly, their car lineup is pretty vanilla and “option less” which is part of their success. They have carried that over in fullsize trucks. Now, they are finding that that approach doesn’t work so well as one source confided to me. What does that mean for the future? Who knows. Whatever it is, Toyota will be very tight lipped on it.


      • T says:


        Thanks for the information, I got more “clues” from you then all those press interviews =o).

  7. Randy says:

    Overall, I am perfectly satisfied with the answers given by Mike Sweers, except for one on the Keypad.

    The Tundra is significantly better than the other half tons on the market and the major uptick in October and November sales percentage wise over the competition shows others feel the same way. There is a reason Tundra is up a combined two month average of 21% and the F150 just 15% even with the $10,000 plus discounts on Fords. As more and more learn about the QDR advantages of Tundra, more will change to Tundra from the other three brands.

    It will be very interesting to see if those types of growth rates can be maintained for the model year?

    Now for those of us that actually use our trucks for truck stuff and are avid outdoorsmen a Keypad is a must have. There needs to be a way to lock your keys up in the truck and later in the day come back to the truck and unlock it and drive away. As of now, I do not see how a wireless transmitter can address that requirement; unless there is some really fancy new technology (which is scary stuff) that allows you to lock up your wireless transmitter up in the truck, then unlock the truck and drive away? Also, the newer keypads can be hidden inside the B pillar, so design is not an issue.

    So as long as Toyota hits home runs, or maybe only one left on base and the Dealer does everything they should to keep me out of the shop then I will only be buying a Tundra. The other three brands could not do that, so why waste time with them?

    • Larry says:

      I don’t agree on this key stuff. A factor in buying an older truck is that I can get keys for 3 dollars. I hate having to buy a 150 dollar chipped key from the dealer.

      I do many extended trips and have my truck shuttled sometimes hundreds of miles. I need extra keys for the shuttle drivers. 150 for chipped keys is too much and I don’t want electronic stuff controlling the door locks.

      Shuttle drives lock the keys in the truck. I keep a set with me and I always have a hidden key on the truck in case I sink a boat or lose a dry bag in a rapid. The old style key was not something which needed to be re-invented.

      I do have a car with a chipped key. A local lock company will make a chipped key for 50 dollars when the Subaru dealer wants 150. That’s still too much. I have better things to spend money on.

  8. mk says:

    He didn’t ask me on 6 1/2 bed crewmax, the ‘real’ owners of trucks. Not wanted nor needed – so wrong.

  9. Mickey says:

    I think Mike did a great job same as the host did. I like what Mike had to say in answering the questions raise. Although I don’t agree with the back seat issue (I prefer 07 and above style). I could still go with the seat to be raised for cargo. I’m warming up to that idea. What hasn’t been stated is that Mike is following Toyoda’s concept. Not what Mike likes, but what customer likes. Like Mike said you really don’t have to improve on something that works. My one question is why wasn’t I contacted since I had a CM for advice on the rear seat. It makes you think that we have the older models and we don’t have an opinion on the issue. Where I would have went with the original people who has the CM. They would know more about the truck than someone with a 2012-2013 year model. As for the keys I have had no issues. I prefer the fob. I ride a Harley now and keep a set of the truck so I can enter the garage without having to carry a garage door opener on the Harley.

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