Either Toyota is ignoring all of the world’s signs telling it to build a small pickup truck, or it’s playing things extremely close to the chest. The fun-sized Ford Maverick is among America’s most in-demand trucks at the moment. Ford can’t build them fast enough, proving there’s a huge market for compact pickups. And, according to Automotive News, even Toyota dealers are telling the brand to bring them a Maverick-fighter.
“The quality small truck is Toyota’s DNA,” said Steve Gates, chairman of the Toyota National Dealer Council. Gates owns three Toyota dealerships and one Ford dealership, among a few others. According to Gates, not only is he completely sold out of Mavericks for as far out as he can see, but demand for the model hasn’t affected Ranger or F-150 sales. So Gates feels that a compact Toyota pickup would sell well without cannibalizing its other trucks.
“We hear all the time, several times a week, stories of people who had older Toyota trucks, before those trucks even had a name, and they long for another small Toyota truck. I think the volume opportunity is huge, without affecting Tacoma and Tundra sales,” he said.
Even Toyota North America boss Dave Christ admitted that the Maverick is on Toyota’s radar. “We’ve obviously watched Maverick closely,” he told Auto News. Furthermore, Christ says that a more fuel-efficient, compact pickup would help Toyota’s emissions regulations. “Could there be an opportunity there? I’m sure the market exists because Maverick’s done reasonably well.”
Toyota openly recognizes the demand for compact trucks and the value they can have for the brand. So why is there no official word on such a truck being in development or even consideration? Toyota certainly has the capability to pump out a Corolla Cross-based pickup, considering the compact SUV is built in Alabama. It seems like the entire country is on board with a Maverick-fighting Toyota pickup—except for Toyota.
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