American consumers have an insatiable demand for trucks and crossovers but Toyota’s North American CEO has revealed the company will remain focused on cars.
Speaking to Wards Auto, Jim Lentz said Toyota would never be able to achieve the kind of volume that Chevrolet and Ford get with full-size trucks such as the Silverado and F-150. He went on to say the company will never be able to sell 700,000 Tundras annually and it is unlikely the company will ever offer a three-quarter or one-ton version of the Tundra.
Tundra sales have remained relatively steady for the past few years and Carsalebase data shows the company sold 116,285 units in the United States last year. That’s a significant climb from 2011 but it pales in comparison with the hundreds of thousands of trucks that Ford, General Motors and Ram sell every year.
While Toyota doesn’t expect to tackle the truck juggernauts, Lentz did reveal the company will offer will offer a truck based on the next-generation of the TNGA platform. Little is known about the model but the next TNGA platform is already in the planning stage and the executive confirmed it will spawn a truck platform.
Lentz went on to say part of the reason he believes trucks and crossovers have become so popular is “there really haven’t been any truly innovative sedans introduced in the market since about 2014.” Plenty of new sedans are on the horizon and this could help spark renewed interest in them.
Besides taking about trucks and sedans, Lentz slammed the protectionist policies of President Trump. As he explained, if tariffs on imported steel and aluminum raise the price of new vehicles by $200 it would effectively become a “$3.4 billion tax on U.S. consumers.”