5 Ways Toyota Is Screwing Up The Tundra

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Toyota needs to stop being so damn conservative when it comes to the Tundra. Since 2007, Toyota has built a truck that can stand toe-to-toe with the best that Ford, GM, and Dodge had to offer. Never before has Toyota offered a truck with so much capability at such a great value. Consumers responded strongly to the new Tundra in 2007, and that response stayed strong through the debut of the TRD supercharger in 2008. After that, enthusiasm started to sputter. Toyota started out winning the battle for the hearts and minds of truck owners, but then they pulled back. What gives?

While it’s easy to blame a downturn in the truck market (and aggressive incentives from struggling domestic rivals) for the Tundra’s loss of momentum, the problem is deeper than that. The problem, plain and simple, is Toyota’s poor management of the development of the Tundra. Here’s what they’ve done wrong:

1) Toyota’s first retreat was from their commitment to build a hybrid Tundra. Toyota is the industry leader in hybrid technology, yet they decided not to invest in a hybrid Tundra because of cost and underwhelming performance. The official reasoning: “we can get similar performance from a small diesel.” Fine. Who are we to argue with Toyota (the world’s largest automaker)? Just because GM has a hybrid Silverado doesn’t mean that Toyota should have a hybrid Tundra. Besides, the disappointment over the lack of a hybrid is easy to accept if a diesel is on the way.

2) Toyota’s second retreat was from their commitment to build the small diesel they promised after backing off of the hybrid. When Toyota “postponed” the diesel, they cited the industry down turn and high fuel costs. Hindsight is 20-20, but seriously, what were they thinking? Diesel is back to being cheap again (less than gasoline actually), so consumers aren’t going to be afraid to invest in a diesel truck.

Besides, what better time would there be to launch a Tundra with a small diesel than right now? Consumers are looking for ways to save and a diesel Tundra will get 20-25% better fuel economy than a gas Tundra. There’s also the fact that Toyota would have been first to market with a half-ton diesel, and bragging rights are a huge benefit in the North American light truck industry because they lead directly to sales. Truck owners are a competitive bunch, and a Tundra diesel would be a strong seller (especially if it was the only diesel half-ton available).

3) Toyota fails to acknowledge Tundra quality concerns. Tundra owners have been complaining about bed bounce since early 2007, and the problem is reasonably well documented. However, despite the evidence, Toyota has never acknowledged the concern. We’re not looking for an admission of guilt here – just an admission of the facts. Same goes for the rust issues with 07 and up Tundra chrome parts. Let’s not even get started on the frame rust issues with 2000-2002 Tundras.

4) Toyota leadership isn’t talking up the Tundra – they’re talking it down. A multitude of statements from Toyota leadership all downplay the significance of the Tundra because they’re all focused on small cars and hybrids. While Toyota is wise to focus on building small cars (they’re more popular than trucks are worldwide), why can’t Toyota talk about forging ahead with a bigger and better pickup truck? It’s not like pickup trucks are going away – they’re an essential tool for millions of North Americans. Why isn’t Toyota talking about the fact they make a great truck? Every statement has been focused on “getting back to small cars.” It sounds like they’re waiving the white flag in the truck market, and that’s B.S. The Tundra is a top-notch truck – why not talk about it?

5) Where’s our HD Tundra already? Has there ever been a better time to release a heavy duty Tundra? Dodge just filed bankrupcty, and consumers are running away from the brand in droves. GM will likely soon follow. Hundreds of thousands of truck sales are up for grabs, yet Toyota doesn’t have an entry in this key segment. What gives? The San Antonio plant has the capacity to make the truck, and our sources say the HD Tundra has been on the drawing board for almost 5 years…the HD Tundra could be in production right now. Unfortunately, the HD Tundra hasn’t left the drawing board because: Toyota isn’t confident enough in the Tundra’s ability to succeed.

Where’s the Toyota that took a risk and developed the Prius despite the fact it wasn’t profitable? Where’s the Toyota that imported the 1964 Stout, an ugly and gutless little pickup that collectors seek because it just won’t die? Where’s the Toyota that clamored to be the largest automaker in the world not even 3 years ago?

Wherever that Toyota is, we hope it comes back and pays attention to the Tundra real soon.

Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com


RSSComments (26)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Michael says:

    Jason, Maybe you should apply for a management position at Toyota … I hear they have a lot of openings (just kidding). These are all valid points you made here, but you have to remember how Toyota made it big here in the USA during the 70’s gas crunch with small cars and trucks that were energy efficient. That was thier “bread and butter” for years and when times get tough you need to focus on staying alive and not abandon what got thier in the first place. Personally I would buy a Diesel Tundra HD in a heartbeat (of America) … but I think they are smart not to build it while the market is soft.

  2. Mickey says:

    I partially agree with Michael here. I do think this is the time for the diesel to come out along with the HD version. I was one who wanted a hybrid Tundra. If they are looking at the Tundra that way Jason I can’t see the Tundra being around in 5 years. If that’s the case I’ll walk away and never come back.

  3. MK says:

    All valid points, especially for me #3. How many 1,000 of 07 and 08 tundras out there have either paint, rusting chrome parts, and a few cosmetic pieces that are not built right from their supplier and why with the 1,000’s of repair orders testifying to these issues has Toyota NOT corrected them for 2009 model year tundras? Toyota for 2009 can build a flexfuel vehicle which I think is not the solution at all since E85 is cheaper, but in order to break the 25% less fuel economy E85 gets vs. E10 ethanol, E85 has to be at least 25% cheaper than E10 per gallon just to break even. Flexfuel no, hybrid technology yes.

  4. mike says:

    I think Toyota has given up on the Tundra and it will be going the way of the dodo bird.

  5. MK says:

    I doubt it since toyota has always had some version of the tundra, although before this one not a true 1/2 ton truck. The problem with Toyota is like with many mfgs., they don’t like to change and if they do change, it is almost always 2-3 years too late. I still say build a tundra crewmax with 4 full doors with 2-3″ or so less in legroom just slightly over the double cab tundra in legroom and make a full 6 1/2′ box would be an awesome seller and still fit into my garage.

  6. TXTee says:

    The DC back seat isn’t that small so I can’t see Toyota decreasing CM interior dimensions just to get the bed size. IMO, a truck is almost not a truck if it doesn’t have a regular bed. Sorry to the short box owners I may have offended…..But the Tundra Crew Max is “butt” ugly with that tiny bed. It looks good on regular and DC only.

  7. MK says:

    I agree with TXTee that the DC legroom in the backseat is not that small, just barely enough legroom, but for an adult to sit in the middle with the rear cupholder folded down is a tight squeeze for legs, one leg on each side of the cupholders in the back seat. I also agree the crewmax’s bed is too short to be useful. Or, just build a crewmax which I think would only be 12″ longer in length from a 5’6″ bed to 6.6″ bed length in order to have the ultimate truck, at least for me. Then, no one would complain that the inside is too small or the bed length is useless unless you are a construction worker who would really benefit from an 8′ bed length.

  8. Mickey says:

    I prefer the room and I make use of the small bed by doing priority of what I’m getting. Even with the palm trees I got that were 12′ still made use of the 5′ bed and a red flag. It fits what I need and I just tow a 18.5ft boat. The bed is big enough to throw camping gear in the back and go for the weekend. What it boils down to is preference. Anyone with a Crewmax knows the bed is small and already know how to deal with it. I like the ability of my family ridining with me are as comfortable as I am. I came from a 6ft bed in a Silverado and I haven’t change my habits in what I need in a truck. Yes I have to leave the tailgate down when I load the 8ft wood or even 6ft ones too. I strap them in the same way I did with the silverado. I use the truck as a truck but I got an advantage by having everyone enjoy the ride with me. I have 58,000 miles and over 45,000 is on the interstate or hwy miles. So comfort was a big thing for me. Just like I got a limited vice any other because I deserve to be treated very comfortable with all features I like. This is just a preference. My likes is just what I said “My likes” no one else’s.

  9. Mickey says:

    Forgot if I had the chance to get a 6ft vice a 5ft bed I would keep the 5ft. My truck fits in my garage with 4 inches left over and a workbench.

  10. Mickey says:

    TXTee I’m not offended by the butt ugly. Simply I think the same of the DC version. I do like the RCSB version, just not enough cab room for what I want.

  11. MK says:

    To each their own. I came from an 07′ chevy 1/2 ton crew cab silverado and immediately turned around and got a 07 tundra double cab. Reason: I was ticked I needed an extra 2-3″ in order to close the tailgate in the Chevy before we went up north for 1 week in 07′ with kids ATV, several 20 gallon totes, gas 4hp outboard, gas tank, fishing tackle, food and drinks, etc. and the darn tailgate would not close even stacked 2 high with totes. Anything under 6′ 3″ is too short because a 6′ ice fishing shelter also won’t fit with tailgate closed and I will not drive down the road with tailgate down even strapped down in case the shelter with ice and snow would possibly slide out going down the hwy. Like I said, to each their own, and if the short crewmax bed serves your purpose, go for it. It’s just that for me, beside the tundra double cab with 6 1/2′ bed, there is not another 1/2 ton truck on the road with as much rear seat legroom and a 6 1/2′ bed on the market today that suits my needs, although 1-2 more inches legroom in the backseat of the double cab would help and be more user friendly.

  12. Mickey says:

    MK it’s called a bed extender. It would have held your equipment. To each his own.

  13. Lots of good comments here – and they’re all valid. I hope that Toyota execs and “brand managers” take the time to read this post.

  14. Jeremy The Truck Guy says:

    Execs and Brand Mangers can read? Wow, who would have guessed?

  15. Jeremy The Truck Guy says:

    manAgers. Spelling is not my forte.

  16. MK says:

    Thanks Jason (admin) for the vote of encouragement on all valid points and good comments here unlike another admin. I had a run-in with on another tundra forum who ripped me for just stating my opinion on the new tundra, nothing else. Can’t wait to see if the engineers and mgrs. at Toyota can actually ‘read’ and ‘listen’ to these comments because I would in a heartbeat sell or trade in my double cab 07 tundra for a 2010 crewmax tundra ONLY if the bed was 6 1/2′ – that would be one awesome, smooth, and cool looking ride.

  17. Mickey says:

    Mk this wasn’t on TundraTalk.net? I know they have alot of differences but the Admin side stays out of it unless it gets heated. IBTO I haven’t seen that there either but it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  18. Mickey says:

    Jeremy I don’t use a fork either… Ohh forte….lol…

  19. Jeremy the Truck Guy says:

    No…Forte, Like when you pass gas in France.

    “Pardon Miseur, I Forte”

    So the real meaning to my comment was Spelling does not come out naturally, It isn’t my Forte! But I do wish as will as I forte.

  20. MK says:


    It was not on tundratalk.net, but on tundrasolutions.com where tundradrenalin (admin.) called me a troll from a bowtie website and stated all my posts are negative. I even said I love the tundra’s tranny, pulling power, and engine, but thought a few components are subpar compared to other 1/2 ton trucks on the market like the tailgate, etc. Nothing like telling the truth and getting banned for it.

    I even said I’m sorry, but I really feel he should be apologizing to me since he attacked me and I never once attacked another viewer or an admin., just issues dealing with 07′ on up Tundras which is what these websites are all about – sharing information on the new Tundra’s whether good or bad to help each other out.

  21. TXTee says:

    This thread has brought out great points in the needs of versatility and styling, even in trucks. I have 8′ not for construction but I haul my motorcycle(s) and definitely wanted all the room possible. There’s no way I’m leaving a tailgate down with precious cargo, like MK said. Bed extender, good option, but not what I wanted. I travel too far from the Gulf Coast to the West Coast and back and have more than just the motorcycle in the bed. I don’t tote passengers on a regular basis besides the dog, so the rear is large enough when I have adult passengers. Sometimes I wish I had the roll down back window but I can overcome that since my car nor SUV has that option!

    I’ll have to be careful on solutions.com. LOL I like to speak my mind so I’ll keep you posted if I get banned. Back to the point, it would be interesting to see if Toyota would do any mods for the cab/bed options…..

  22. Mickey says:

    MK I still have access in Tundrasolutions but will never visit that site for I’m not about to pay for information on the Tundra. To me they are a rippoff and not intrested in helping a Tundra member.

  23. TXTee says:

    I had a nice long post yesterday and hope it didn’t get held in moderation. Anyway, basically agreed that this was a great thread that brought about the need for diversity in cab/bed options. And I joined Tundrasolutions since I’m going to a meetup but I DO like to speak my mind and I’m not paying to be a member so we’ll see how it goes.

  24. Art says:

    I wonder why Toyota hasn’t considered a hybrid set up? I came close to considering the GMC Hybrid pick up. It’s the only full size pick up that qualifies under the Cash for Clunkers program. But I backed out due to 1. It’s still a GM product and 2. The cost. I would have bought a hybrid tundra in a “heart beat”.

  25. Oldsalt52 says:

    I have to agree with Jason. Where is the brave bunch that made this company what it is today. I’ve been in the market for a 1/2 ton pickup for two years now. But, I won’t buy anything until the Tundra Diesel is produced. My neighbor is in the same boat. He’s also hoping for the Tundra Diesel.

    Let’s go Toyota, what are you waiting for. Put out a diesel Tundra and you won’t regret it.

  26. Mickey says:

    Art I’m with you on that. I want a true Hybird truck from Toyota. My wife has the Prius and when GM came out in 06 with that so called Hybrid truck I was amazed. Like 90% of the people they thought like I it was about mpg’s. Well it wasn’t. It had two plug receptacles in the bed which the Hybrid ran. This way a contractor can run his tools without a need for a gas generator or electrical power to do it. Now last year I went to the new car show and seen what GM was talking about the Hybrid. Now they were talking about mpg’s on the Silverado and on both the Tahoe and Suburban. Both Tahoe and Suburban mpg’s still was 20mpg on the hwy. I get that now with my 7,000lb crewmax truck. The truck only got 22mpg hwy. I get that also. The sticker price was a shocker. I don’t see where the savings pay for it.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Email -- 0 Flares ×