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Old 04-08-2019, 07:39 AM   #1
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Default Toyota's plan: All pickups on 1 Platform

Toyota's plan: All pickups on 1 platform

Toyota's next-generation full-size Tundra and midsize Tacoma pickups will share a common platform — internally called F1 — that the Japanese automaker plans to spread to all of its pickups globally, Automotive News has learned.

The strategy closely mimics that used by Toyota in recent years with its unibody Toyota New Global Architecture, which allows it to build a range of models including the Corolla compact sedan, Avalon large car and RAV4 compact crossover using common parts on a single platform for greater efficiency.

Current-generation Tundras and Tacomas are built in sequence on a shared assembly line in south San Antonio, while the Tacoma is also assembled at a pair of plants in Mexico. Although the two pickups share the assembly line at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas, they are built on different platforms, increasing complexity far beyond that of the 37 cab and powertrain variations of the two pickups.

Sources within Toyota say development of the shared-platform pickups is near completion and could be introduced as early as next year for 2021 models. Details of what the shared platform will mean, in terms of design or potential features, remains unknown.

A spokesman for Toyota Motor North America declined to comment on the shared-platform pickup strategy, saying Toyota does not discuss future product.

Toyota's pickup lineup is the industry's oldest. The current-generation Tundra dates to 2007, with major updates last introduced in the 2014 model year, while the third-generation Tacoma dates from 2015, with a freshened 2020 model introduced in February at the Chicago Auto Show.

The fortunes of Toyota's two pickups in the U.S. have been moving in opposite directions. In March, Tacoma sales jumped 13 percent, marking the nameplate's 17th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains, and it remains the dominant leader in the growing midsize pickup segment. Meanwhile, Tundra sales through the first three months of the year are down 4.6 percent, and the pickup remains fifth in the segment behind Detroit's four offerings and leading only the Nissan Titan.

It is worth noting that Toyota limits Tundra production in San Antonio to free up capacity to build Tacomas. The two have shared the plant since 2010.

Nissan uses a somewhat similar platform strategy with its two pickups in the U.S., the full-size Titan and midsize Frontier, building them in Canton, Miss., alongside other models. While they share components and frame parts, their frames are distinct in size and makeup.

Stephanie Brinley, senior automotive analyst for IHS Markit, said the shared-platform strategy "is an interesting approach" that "makes some sense from the fact that the two trucks share a plant" in San Antonio. However, the strategy comes with significant risk in terms of size.

"Can you make the Tundra as big as it needs to be, while still keeping the Tacoma as small as it needs to be? And you could easily end up with a Tacoma that might be heavier than it needs to be" to accommodate the larger Tundra on the same platform. Brinley said.

If Toyota is forced to favor one over the other, it will favor the smaller Tacoma because of its volume and market position, she said. The automaker's volume ambitions for Tundra are not to compete directly with the full-size pickups from Ford, General Motors and FCA, but to offer loyal consumers an alternative.

"Toyota is never going to see Detroit 3 volumes out of Tundra," Brinley said. "They don't need to beat them; they just need to build something that makes customers happy while meeting internal volume expectations and profitability targets Toyota wants."

Hybrid trucks?

In addition to a shared platform, the next- generation Tundra and Tacoma will include some form of electrification. The automaker's top executives have promised that every nameplate in Toyota's global lineup will have some form of electrification to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. That could mean something as light as the 48-volt mild-hybrid system in the Ram 1500 to a plug-in hybrid.

"We're looking at what makes the most sense, not only for 2025 but for out to 2035 and beyond, and what is the market demand for it," said Mike Sweers, lead engineer for Toyota's "four brothers": the Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner midsize SUV and Sequoia large SUV. Sweers, speaking in February at the Chicago Auto Show, said torque and toughness will remain key to Toyota in its next-generation body-on-frame vehicles.

"The customers expect to have power. We need to provide better fuel economy for the future, and lightweighting, these kinds of things, are one way to get there," Sweers said. "Our motto on the engineering side is, 'We need to build an indestructible truck.'?"
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:37 AM   #2
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Been waiting so long for updated Tundra and 4Runner. Like when will they add 8-10 speeds and better mileage motors ?
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Old 04-08-2019, 03:42 PM   #3
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finally its only been forever since the tundra got an update. shares the same update timeline as the sti lmaoo
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Old 04-08-2019, 08:37 PM   #4
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Here comes that V8 Tacoma everybody wants.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:22 PM   #5
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It makes sense for the two to share the same platform.
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:34 PM   #6
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I don't know how this is going to work with two BOF trucks in different size categories; I'm not sure how much parts sharing there could be; engine and trans? sure, diff's maybe; but axles, frames, literally everything else? I don't see it happening... it would require a multi-piece frame where sections are left out to adjust width and length, and since there are only two trucks it makes more sense just to have two different frames since the level of customization is so limited. But I'm no Toyota Engineer, so I'll defer to them; happy to see a new generation of both though.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:01 PM   #7
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Yeah, this does not make a lot of sense. Or that platform sharing is just some marketing jibberish in this case.

Toyota went as far as to develop bespoke C-channel frame for Tacoma and divorce it from Hilux boxed frame and related 4Runner and Land Cruiser Prado frames. Despite what some people think in the U.S. 4runner and Tacoma have little in common except powertrains at some points in in their cycles.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:49 PM   #8
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So does this mean the next Taco will be the size of the original Tundra, the T100? Or that the are going to do the opposite of upsizing and down size the Tundra to T100 level.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg View Post
So does this mean the next Taco will be the size of the original Tundra, the T100? Or that the are going to do the opposite of upsizing and down size the Tundra to T100 level.
The current gen tundra is just too massive. The 06 and older double cabs were a great size. Keep the tacoma the same and shrink the tundra a bit.
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