The 2007-10 Toyota Tundra hasn’t been quite the success that Toyota envisioned, that is over taking the Ford F-150, but that doesn’t mean the automaker is ready to give up on its half-ton hauler. There are sources reporting that Toyota is confidently planning a thorough redesign of the Tundra.
The current Tundra was designed from the ground up to compete with full-size pickups from Chrysler, Ford and GM. On paper, the story was compelling. The Tundra featured a strong 5.7-liter V-8, could tow up to 10,800 pounds and was available in regular, extended-cab and crew-cab configurations.
Toyota was so confident in the strength of its new truck and the American truck market that it invested more than $1 billion to build a dedicated assembly plant in Texas with the capacity to build 200,000 Tundras a year in addition to a second Tundra factory in Indiana that could produce 100,000 annually.
The Tundra is in fact a great truck and came close to meeting its annual sales goals of 200,000 trucks per year in the first year but missed each year since, suffering from the effects of both a terrible economy and a media onslaught over alleged quality and safety issues. About 460,000 Tundras have been built since 2007, and less than 80,000 were sold in 2009, a bad economic year.
In light of tough new fuel-economy rules set to take effect by 2016. some have wondered will Toyota continue to invest in the Tundra?
Sources say that indeed the next Tundra will arrive by 2014, just in time to take on all-new full-size light-duty pickups expected from GM, Nissan and Ford. That time period is looking like it will be a replay of 2007-08, which also had a fast cadence of new half-ton introductions.
But while Toyota is keeping the faith in Tundra, at least for one more generation, the Japanese automaker is said to be phasing out the Toyota Sequoia full-size SUV that’s based on the Tundra platform. We hear the big people-mover will be killed at the end of this life cycle.