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Dave

Toyota to drop current Tundra, standardize platform

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Toyota has finally called it quits on the Tundra, launched in 2007 and not really updated since 2014. The truck was highly competitive when it first launched, but still struggled to find buyers in the face of hot competition from rapidly evolving Chevy, Ford, and Ram pickups. Chevrolet and Ford both have midsize pickups now, which compete against the Tacoma; Ford has an aluminum-bodies full-size, while Ram has an independent suspension, and all have eight to ten speed automatics. Ram also has a diesel and hybrid option; overall, the Tundra is, oddly, the least-economical of the four. 

According to Automotive News, the next generation Tundra and Tacoma will both have the same platform (“F1”), just as Toyota’s new cars are sharing one platform. What’s more, the odd collection of pickups Toyota sells around the world will all move to that platform.

The company already makes Tundras and Tacomas on the same assembly line in Texas (though the Mexican plants only make Tacomas). The first introduction should arrive next year, as a 2021 model. 

The Toyota Tacoma has dominated midsize pickup sales for years, and Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge all dropped their midsized pickups for some time until Chevy popped back into the market with the Colorado; Ford recently relaunched the Ranger, as well, and Ram is reportedly working on something. 

At one point, Dodge had the same pickup strategy, moving the midsize Dakota to the Ram 1500 platform. Dakota sales plummeted, though part of that may have been due to odd styling. Toyota is more likely to take the opposite approach, keeping the Tacoma sacred and altering the Tacoma to fit the Tacoma’s needs.

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