Thursday, September 21, 2023
News Is Toyota planning a smaller pickup truck for North America?

Is Toyota planning a smaller pickup truck for North America?

  • Toyota has no plans for now.

  • The brand’s direction will listen to what the dealerships have to say this week in Las Vegas.

  • The Ford Maverick’s success is clearly on the brand’s radar.


Is Toyota planning a new compact pickup in the next few years? After all, the Japanese brand made its mark all over the world with its small pickup trucks. In fact, Toyota’s smallest pickup in North America, the Tacoma, is still the best-selling vehicle in its segment, despite the obvious growth in vehicle size. The latest model is clearly a mid-size vehicle.

At the brand’s dealership meeting in Las Vegas this week, some managers are loudly expressing their intentions to ask the manufacturer’s top management to consider a pickup smaller than the new Tacoma, something that would emulate the model launched by the Ford Maverick… and the Hyundai Santa Cruz to a lesser extent.

2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport

Automotive News asked the President of the Toyota National Dealer Council, Steve Gates, himself aware of the current situation in the unibody pickup niche like Ford’s Maverick. Indeed, the Gates Group for which he works also owns a Ford dealership, and the success of Ford’s small truck is undeniable.

According to Gates, the commercial potential is enormous for a brand like Toyota, without even affecting sales of the Tacoma or Tundra. These two models are based on the same ladder-chassis platform, which would not be the case in a potential small unibody pickup truck.

While it’s true that the manufacturer earned its reputation with the Stout truck in the 60s, it’s highly likely that the new generation – if it sees the light of day, of course – will evolve the original formula. Single cabs are no longer as popular, while cargo boxes also need to be very roomy, despite the size of these small vehicles.

It’s far too early to say whether Toyota will go ahead with a compact pickup, which likely could be based on the foundations of the current Corolla and Corolla Cross. With the popularity of pickups still high, Toyota could make a big splash in North America and even elsewhere on the planet, where pickup trucks are far more popular than full-size North American models.

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