Sequoia Rumored To Be On Life Support
Yesterday, PickupTrucks.com reported that the Sequoia will probably be cancelled at the end of the current model’s cycle. Intrigued, we made some calls and spoke to a few people who have been in the know in the past. While they agree that cancelling the Sequoia is both logical and probable, our Toyota sources say that this decision has yet to be made.
The reason? The Sequoia retains a significant chunk of the market – anywhere from 20-30%. Our sources say that Toyota is reluctant to walk away from any segment where they have a decent performer. You can see the numbers below for more info.
|2007 Sales||07′ Market Share||2008 Sales||08′ Market Share||2009 Sales||09′ Market Share|
|… Chevy Tahoe||11351||10.37%||6417||7.62%||9283||14.83%|
|… Chevy Suburban||6773||6.19%||6055||7.19%||4705||7.52%|
|… GMC Yukon||5162||4.72%||4401||5.22%||3338||5.33%|
|… GMC Yukon XL||3683||3.36%||3796||4.51%||1953||3.12%|
|… Cadillac Escalade||5495||5.02%||4620||5.48%||3275||5.23%|
|… Infiniti QX56||12288||11.23%||7657||9.09%||6440||10.29%|
NOTE: These numbers are intended to represent vehicles similar to the Sequoia in terms of potential customers. Obviously, the ‘XL’ models from GM and Ford are more capable, the Escalade is more luxurious, etc. If these aren’t included in the comparison, the Sequoia’s strength in the marketplace is even more obvious.
Sales Figures Aren’t The Whole Story
The Sequoia, it seems, has three enemies at Toyota.
- Execs are concerned that the full-size SUV segment may disappear or become unprofitable. New fuel economy regs will make full-size SUVs even more expensive than they are now, and it’s thought that most consumers will walk away from the segment if prices continue to climb.
- Design and development profits are hard to recover on low-volume vehicles. While the Sequoia will likely share many parts and a platform with the next-gen Tundra, there are still a lot of costs involved in creating the SUV. There is concern that those costs can’t be earned back.
- Japan doesn’t get it. Despite recent public assurances from Akio Toyoda, it seems that Japanese execs are still calling most of the shots. As a result, there’s a fundamental disconnect between Toyota’s decision makers and the people making the case for the Sequoia.
Based on our conversations, it seems clear that the Sequoia is definitely being considered for elimination. However, our sources stressed that this decision isn’t final. So, rather than saying the Sequoia is going to be cancelled, we’ll say that it’s on life support.
Filed Under: Auto News