Toyota Delays Launch of New Tundra Pickup

The company is studying offering both heavy-duty and hybrid gasoline-electric Tundras. Lentz said the automaker isn't sure how big the market for such models will be.

Published: 12-Jan-2006

p;Toyota Motor Corp., the first Japanese automaker to develop a large pickup for the U.S., said it will release the redesigned Tundra truck in January 2007, later than analysts had anticipated.

``Sales will start in 2007, early 2007,' Yukitoshi Funo, chief executive officer of Toyota's U.S. sales unit, said in an interview yesterday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. ``We are now thinking of New Year because Christmas break and so forth may not be helpful to the launching. It's a minor adjustment.'

Production of the revamped Tundra is slated to begin late this year in San Antonio at Toyota's newest North American factory. The company has said the model will be its first that's comparable in size and power with trucks from Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., the biggest sellers of large pickups. Toyota trails only GM in global vehicle sales.

The Tundra marks an attempt by Toyota to gain market share in the only vehicle segment still dominated by U.S.-based companies. The current Tundra and Nissan Motor Co.'s Titan won 8.6 percent of 2.46 million large-pickup sales last year in the U.S. Asian automakers sold a record 36.5 percent of all new cars and trucks last year.


2006 model introduces slight styling changes, additional safety equipment and added amenity options including leather seats.

Toyota engineers demonstrated the steering controls in the 180-kg unit, which can reach speeds of up to 50 kph.

By the end of October, the largest Japanese automaker said, its worldwide hybrid vehicle sales totaled about 513,000 units.


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