Tundra drops CD Player, adds recycled wire instead

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Over the last few days, a couple of articles have caught my eye. The first describes a new kind of wire coating that has debuted on the new Toyota Tundra. The second article reports that Toyota is considering reducing features in the new Tundra in order to be more cost-competitive with the domestics. Seems like the problem is obvious to me…

First, the new wire coating. Developed by Delphi, the new wire coating has a thickness equivalent to two (2) pieces of paper. The material being used isn’t the standard PVC, but a new material derived mostly from recycled plastic. The big benefit to this new material is that it requires much less of it to sufficiently coat a wire, reducing the size and weight of the wiring in the vehicle. Also, because it’s created from recycled plastics, it’s better for the environment. Pretty slick stuff.

Knowing Toyota, this is probably a change they’ll make to all of their vehicles over the next few years. Toyota is committed to making the best vehicle on the road, and this new material will help both reduce weight and help the environment. You can read the Delphi press release for more info.

As for the second article, the words “jaw-dropping” come to mind. A little background: for years, we’ve read about domestic auto manufacturers removing standard features from their vehicles in order to cut costs. Manufacturers call it a “product realignment”, but what that really means is that the same vehicle is going to have less equipment than it did before but still cost the same. This practice was so wide-spread in the late 90’s that it received the moniker “decontenting”.

Imagine my shock when I read that the leading automotive company in the world, Toyota, was considering re-evaluating the standard options in the new Tundra. The VP of Operations for Toyota USA was quoted as saying “Unfortunately, we may have put a little too much content into it.” What the hell is going on??

The Toyota Tundra has so many nice features standard that it really gives it a leg up on the competition. The stability control system, the limited-slip differential, the 4.10 gears, the side curtain airbags, and even the CD player were all listed as “extra” equipment that might be eliminated. Who’d want to buy a truck without any of these options?

Fleet buyers. They don’t care about equipment, just the bottom line. So, because Toyota is having to offer rebates to move their lower-end trucks (which they’re building in order to hit 200k units this year), they’re thinking about reducing the standard equipment to lower their costs. This sounds EXACTLY like Detroit to me.

Build too many vehicles, offer rebates when they’re not selling fast enough, and then start to reduce equipment to get the money back.

Here’s a question…What if you took the space-age wire covering off the all the wires and just used good old PVC? How much would that save?

Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com

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  1. […] sales goal of 200k units. But if Toyota reduces the cost of their trucks in 2008 (and they will be reducing content, we’ve shown that) then their overall profitability and sales volume will increase because […]

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