- Image courtesy of toyota.com/tundra

How the Toyota Tundra could affect the Aussie market

The writing is on the wall that buyers like big trucks, but how would Toyota's largest fit in the market

39w ago

3.9K

Australia has been shifting tastes in their cars for some time now, with many positing that it is our "love for adventure" that is drawing us to large trucks. I would tend to argue that it may not necessarily be adventure, but rather knowing that we have the option to perform some adventure.

Even if we don't actually get time to go on said adventure.

Speaking with Carsguide.com.au this week, Toyota Australia's Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley outlined that there was a "big desire" to see the large Toyota Tundra land on Australian shores - provided the business case adds up.

Image courtesy of toyota.com/tundra

Image courtesy of toyota.com/tundra

The latter part probably being the only hurdle to truly overcome, because launching a product with potentially a niche audience, and potentially a prohibitive sticker price, is something that shouldn't be done lightly. I would imagine it needing a softly-softly approach to properly gauge demand before loading up the ships with voluminous and empty vehicles that are notoriously expensive to transport.

As is broadly understood, and is backed up by sales numbers from VFACTs, buyers are gravitating to the kind of truck that can be loaded up with recreational gear and still have room for the kids in the back. It's become the new all-rounder that suits the needs of the family, and suits the need for the driver to feel huge.

As exhibited by the growth of the SUV market segment, there could be potential for added nuance in the truck market to grow. In what used to be flat SUV offerings, the market then started to accept wagons of varying size and utility. At the moment, the best-selling trucks in Australia differ in their variant, and not necessarily by utility - in which I mean size.

If you want a Ford Ranger, you choose the one that suits the budget. If you need something bigger, at least in Australia, there is little to choose from, especially since Ford's "F" range disappeared from our shores.

There are options for larger trucks in Australia, particularly the Ram 1500, but some competition in the segment could lead to a real growth opportunity, with other makes perhaps tossing their offering onto our roads. More competition is good for consumers, after all.

With the news from Carsguide to suggest that Toyota is looking to deepen their truck variety in Australia (business case pending), it would show some level of faith in the segment and that there is room to grow. While I am loathe to bury the lede of this story, the news must be taken with some caution, too, as Hanley continues, "As of right now, I’m not aware of any plans. But would I like to see it? Absolutely. Because the more we can share these products with other parts of the globe is a good thing."

"As of right now, I’m not aware of any plans. But would I like to see it? Absolutely. Because the more we can share these products with other parts of the globe is a good thing."

Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia's Vice President of Sales and Marketing

The three top-selling models in Australia are, in order, Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, and Mitsubishi Triton, and I understand there is great demand for the top-end Hilux TRD and Ford Ranger Wildtrak models.

If Toyota were to gamble with the idea that introducing another model into the market, positioning it at the top of their line-up, and if the gamble were successful, it could drive other Makes to enter Australia with their own offerings.

As evidenced by the asking prices for Ford F150's, with recent and used models still priced around the $100,000 mark, it suggests that there is an appetite for the larger trucks, that have, for a while at least, been largely untapped.

With tastes having shifted, and the growth of the truck segment for consumers who aren't tradies or professionals - for better or worse - the news of Toyota potentially, possibly, maaaaybe thinking of expanding their truck range is not particularly surprising.

Because, when paired with the demands of professionals who actually need trucks, the wants of consumers could lead to a growing segment akin to that of the SUV. Of course, that likely comes to the chagrin of enthusiasts who have lamented the growth of these barges on the road.

And those who would be concerned about emissions could also have reservations about introducing more V8s to the Australian fleet.

I am not opposed to these vehicles being added to the roads, if only for it showing a recognition of market trends and that manufacturers recognise Australian tastes. If Toyota were to take the gamble, and have it pay off, it shows a willingness and faith in our consumers, and they would be rewarded for being one of the first movers.

But I fear that these heavy-duty beasts will be relegated to more menial tasks.

Image courtesy of toyota.com/tundra

Image courtesy of toyota.com/tundra

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Comments (27)

  • Given the growing popularity of the RAM 1500 in particular, it makes sense for Toyota to bring the Tundra, and likewise Nissan, to bring the Titan. Competition is good for the segment, will be interesting to see if either of them jump in the water.

      9 months ago
    • Agreed. Part of me wonders if it'll be a huge rush before it peters out a little. Huge trucks might appeal to those who want to show how big and boofy they are, but are they a sustainable market segment? And are these larger trucks overkill for...

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        9 months ago
    • Try parking one in a Westfield shopping centre... it's a circus. We loved the RAM when we tested it, but it's madness to try and park them anywhere. That said, it would suit a tradie with lots of gear (especially with the RAM boxes fitted). You...

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        9 months ago
  • I’d much rather they bring the Tacoma

      9 months ago
  • It's so old, why bother? Even Nissan has a newer truck (Titan). Plenty of more modern trucks to choose from (Chevy, Ram, Ford) not sure why you would buy the Tundra.

      9 months ago
    • Slim pickings in Aus, coupled with the Toyota name that is renown for solid vehicles? That’s my initial guess, although Aus also does tend to get the dregs sometimes.

      I’ve been burned by Nissan commercial vehicles, though. The Navara can...

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        9 months ago
  • Advice from the US where the full-size pickup reigns king, you may not be too excited about these trucks within a few years. Yes, the extra capability is nice, but they're much larger (in volume) than they need to be, they're way overpriced, and they have bad gas mileage by modern standards (make that quite poor for the current Tundra). This hasn't hit hard in America since size isn't easily noticed on the open road, gas is cheap, and it tends to be the, um, "wiser" crowd buying them new (people older than their 30s that can afford to splurge on spendy mid to high range models).

      9 months ago
    • I think there might be some... for want of a better term... romanticism about larger trucks? We like the benefits from all they can promise us, but seldom think of what those promises cost.

      I say “we” generally. I’ll never own one of these...

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        9 months ago
    • There's definitely some of that, too.

        9 months ago
  • Local tradie loves his Silverado. Bought 2nd hand, was cheaper than a new Cruiser, has a bigger payload and all of the mod con's he needs. And being in country vic, parking is no issue

      9 months ago
    • If you need the payload, I can’t think of a vehicle better than these kinds of trucks. In my fleet days, I had crews that carried water tanks for their work, and when the F150 was unavailable, they had very few options. They’d probably be...

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        9 months ago
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