Toyota is rethinking and likely to cancel plans to introduce a heavy duty version of the Tundra pick up truck, leaving this huge and prestigious market segment exclusively to American truck makers. Nissan has already announced that it will not build a heavy duty version of the Titan.
The Tundra introduction has been marred by complaints about the quality of the interior, the absence of adequate frame rigidity, and fit and finish issues. It has also had the public humiliation of new trucks whose engines broke camshafts, a problem the manufacturer ha rushed to correct.
Postponing or cancelling the Heavy Duty version of the Tundra would be a setback in Toyota’s plans to directly compete with Ford , Chevrolet , and Dodge in the full sized pick up truck market. The heavy duty models of the trucks made by American manufacturers are image builders for the manufacturer, as well as being seriously profitable. Moreover, those who buy heavy duty trucks do so because of the need for their capabilities, so fuel prices may have less effect on that market segment than on others.
If Toyota elects to abandon or postpone a heavy duty Tundra, it will essentially be admitting that it cannot compete head-on with the American manufacturers in the truck market.