Toyota sellers: Room in lineup for a Ford Maverick fighter

BE desk

The comparability isn’t misplaced on Steve Gates, the flow chairman of the Toyota Nationwide Broker Council, and broker foremost of Gates Auto Public, a bunch of eleven rooftops in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana that comes with 3 Toyota retail outlets in addition to a Ford pack. An unabashed Toyota fan — Gates has been promoting Toyotas in Kentucky since he was once 18 — he’s been soliciting for a compact Toyota pickup “since back in the Jim Press days,” he mentioned, relating to the longtime emblem govt who left the corporate in 2007. And now that Gates has not hidden what Maverick has accomplished at his personal Ford pack, he’s much more satisfied.

“We’re absolutely sold out of Maverick, and we’re sold out as far as we can possibly see, and it hasn’t affected Ranger or F-150 one bit,” Gates mentioned. “The quality small truck is Toyota’s DNA. We hear all the time, several times a week, stories of people who had older Toyota trucks, before those trucks even had a name, and they long for another small Toyota truck. I think the volume opportunity is huge, without affecting Tacoma and Tundra sales.”

Gates mentioned he and alternative participants of the broker council’s product committee have made the request officially.

Toyota’s first pickup within the U.S. was once the Toyota Stout within the mid-Nineteen Sixties. For two decades, all of its tiny pickups had single-row seating, in most cases a bench seat, and a tiny mattress. It wasn’t till the fifth-generation Toyota pickup debuted in 1989 that the emblem introduced any bank or seating room in the back of the entrance row seats.

Danny Wilson, broker foremost at Wilson Toyota of Ames in Iowa, who preceded Gates as broker council chairman, mentioned a unibody compact pickup could be a “great play on the heritage of Toyota” in addition to giving sellers any other product to promote.

“The small pickup truck? That’s where things started for Toyota,” mentioned Wilson, who’s additionally at the product committee.

“I think that would be kind of a cool mindset. It’s always worked well when we’ve gone back to our roots. What we think is old, the next generation thinks is new and cool.”

Wilson cautioned, alternatively, that this type of truck would must be up to date. “There’s got to be a little bit of utility to it; it can’t be just a two-seater with a bed.”

He mentioned Toyota’s platform technique would permit for backup flexibility that wasn’t there traditionally.

“I think with the new platforms and the way they’re doing production, with the way it’s set up, they can turn the faucet up and down to get it where it needs to be from a manufacturing standpoint,” if it’s at the identical platform because the Corolla sedan and Corolla Move crossover.

Christ said that Toyota’s sellers were soliciting for a compact pickup for a hour, and that fielding this type of product would probably lend a hand Toyota’s Company Reasonable Gas Economic system metrics.

“If you can find a way to build a higher fuel efficiency pickup truck, that’s certainly something that helps with the regulatory need,” Christ mentioned. “Could there be an opportunity there? I’m sure the market exists because Maverick’s done reasonably well.”

However that doesn’t heartless it’s taking place.

“We don’t have anything planned,” Christ mentioned. “We’re not announcing anything to the dealers. I won’t even say ‘yet’ because that would suggest it’s coming. But certainly, it’s something we’ve looked at.”

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