Shopping For a Toyota Tundra in The Current Recession Climate

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Before you walk into your dealership to make a new Tundra purchase, it’s worth taking a few moments to consider where the line stands at the moment, how Toyota is faring against the competition in the current industry crisis, and how the economic recession can work to the buyer’s benefit.

Since the 2010 Toyota Tundra has been slightly updated over the 2009, there are some differences to highlight:

– The 2009 model, which is still widely available, is offered in three styles of cab with three wheelbases, three bed lengths, three engines, and three trim levels. This essentially means customers can go from a 236 hp, 4-liter V6 in a standard or short-bed double cab to a 381-hp 5.7-liter engine. Maximum towing capacity in the line is 10,800 lbs and maximum bed length is 8.1 feet.

– Little of that has changed for 2010, but there is a new mid-range power choice, a 4.6-liter V8 (310 hp, six-speed automatic) with the line-topping 5.7-liter V8 offered on the CrewMax Limited models. All other changes for 2010 are cosmetic including billet-style grille, chrome bumpers, door still protectors, and unique 20-inch wheels — all part of the Platinum package.

Consider this a viable bargaining point. It’s highly likely a 2009 model will meet your needs at a potentially reduced price, since inventory reduction has been at the heart of Toyota’s strategy in recent months.

Essentially, the company has performed well during the current industry crisis, but it has not been immune to the effects of consumers shying away from the showroom floor. Reported sales for March 2009 were flat and production is being held back through June. Toyota remains the world’s largest automaker after having shoved General Motors out of that position, but sales are still down, to the tune of about 18% for fiscal year 2008. Additionally, the company has taken advantage of low-interest loans from the Japanese government to support its American lending arm, Toyota Motor Credit Corp. All of these factors combine to create the same truism across the automotive boards at the present moment — it’s a buyer’s market.

With that in mind, do three things before heading to the dealership:

1. Do your research online. Know exactly what is available for the model and trim level you are considering, all current incentive programs being offered, financing options, and other details that will form the basis of your purchase negotiations. Have your combination of options worked out and resist getting talking into something you don’t want and don’t need.

2. Have the price in mind. Know before you walk into the dealership what price you can handle and monthly payment amount you want to target. Negotiate toward those numbers and if necessary, get up and walk out. They’ll either come after you and or you can find another dealership.

3. Get your present vehicle ready for trade-in to achieve maximum value. Make sure your present truck is in good working order, clean inside and out, and have as much relevant maintenance documentation on-hand as possible.

The Tundra is an excellent choice in a full-sized pick-up and top of the heap or not, Toyota needs you. Know the model, know what you can financially handle, and stand your ground. They won’t admit it, but car salesmen are in a mood to negotiate — deeply. It’s just an issue of survival, so why not take advantage?

Filed Under: Buying a Tundra


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  1. TXTee says:

    Very solid advice – especially the pointer on knowing what you can afford PRIOR to walking into the dealership. If only more people had done that with the mortgage industry….

  2. Mickey says:

    Agree TXTee. If I had the money to afford to lose in a trade in I would go for a 2010 Crewmax Platinum series.

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