An all-new Tacoma pickup will be rolling out at the North American International Auto Show in January, and this move from Toyota is seen to reignite the rivalry among automakers when it comes to winning consumer favors in the mid-size pickup truck segment.
The announcement from the Japanese automaker came in after General Motors’ Chevrolet Colorado bagged Motor Trend’s 2015 Truck of the Year award yesterday. It bested Ford’s 2015 F-150, which many thought would be the winner.
In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, mentioned they believe the mid-size pickup truck segment should grow some more and Toyota being a dominant player in the category at the moment will benefit from such growth.
Toyota has been the top player in the mid-size pickup segment, bringing in 70 percent of 2013’s overall small truck sales. According to Automotive News, during the first 11 months of this year, the Japanese automaker already sold more than 140,747 Tacomas or about 66 percent of the total market share.
While Toyota may be doing well with its mid-size pickups that does not mean there are no competitors willing to steal its position. Nissan and General Motors have both been displaying strong records for their mid-size pickups. Nissan’s Frontier trucks sold about 68,263 units in 2014, while General Motors have their 2015 Colorado named Truck of the Year. The latter also features a couple of upgrades that the Tacoma do not have, such as more comfortable cabin and better performance and fuel economy. These things only mean that Toyota have to make sure its updated Tacoma will be better than before to maintain its position as the market leader in the mid-size pickup truck segment.
Details about the new Tacoma are scarce, but it is likely that it will retain its body-on-frame setup and will be built in Toyota’s production facility in San Antonio and Mexico. The folks at Truck Trend also said there is a possibility that Toyota will improve the Tacoma’s fuel economy as well as cabin electronics and integration, as these are the areas where it lags behind GM’s pickups.
Whatever the changes will be, Tacoma fans would certainly love to see an all-new version at the Detroit Auto Show that is way better than the current model, which last received a full redesign in 2004. For now, it is a waiting game for everyone.
Photo credit: KGP Spy Photography via Truck Trend