Toyota still confused about hybrid pickup truck space
Do hybrid pickup trucks make sense?
With rising gas prices coupled with rising pickup truck sales, one might think hybrid pickup trucks would be a no-brainer. Yet, after a few years on the market GM’s hybrid trucks, such a the Chevy Silverado hybrid, simply are not selling.
Thus, Toyota isn’t ready to rush into the hybrid pickup truck space, although a number of options are on table.
“The pickup truck has been very volatile over the past few years,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division at Toyota Motor Sales USA. “We’re trying to understand what pickup truck consumers are going to want in the future.
Thus, the Toyota A-BAT pickup truck is still a possibility, but Carter isn’t sure that Toyota pickup fans want a unibody-based pickup, hybrid or not.
“Right now with the Tacoma in the compact truck market, we have nearly a 45% market share. The consumer says for that truck market that they still want a rugged body-on-frame,” said Carter.
And, if Toyota does produce a hybrid pickup, especially a car-based one, it could be worked into the Prius family of hybrid vehicles.
Consequently, don’t expect a Toyota hybrid pickup anytime soon. While a Toyota pickup truck seems inevitable based on Toyota’s long term hybrid plan, it just doesn’t seem the pickup truck market is yet ready for such a vehicle.