We're beginning to feel like ToMoCo's having a real Goldilocks-like internal management problem. The past few years of the first-gen model of the Sequoia have been criticized by many as having a model smaller than other SUV's in the "large and in charge" segment, but now some execs inside the automaker from the land of the rising sun are afraid that pendulum's eschewed "just right" and swung way too far in the other direction. While normally, we'd expect the execs talking all sorts of trash internally to remain nameless, this time they're going on the record. Automotive News reports Don Esmond, senior veep of automotive ops at Toyota Motor Sales USA as saying:
"I worry about the Sequoia being too big and not having enough fuel economy, more than I do with the (redesigned) Tundra...[A driver of a full-sized pickup]...won't worry about getting two miles per gallon less, if it's the only thing that can haul his work gear. But there are a lot of choices besides an SUV for hauling your kids to soccer practice."
Esmond's of course...
...talking about the Sequoia's platform, the same humongous one used by the new Tundra pickup, a full-size pickup that's so full-size (how full-size is it?), it doesn't even fit in dealership service bays. You'll remember we reported last month that was a major reason for the one year delay between the unveiling of the truck and its actual release...
But, now that Toyota's tasted the higher per vehicle profits of the large- and premium-SUV market — they've been quite unhappy with the drop from a 9.8% share of the market in 2002 to the 6.4% share so far this year. Because no matter how many Prius (Priii?) they sell — the sales of one Sequoia we hear garners more profit.
Toyota fears bigger Sequoia is, well, too big (sub. req.) [Automotive News]
Toyota Drops A Big And Heavy 2007 Tundra Full-Size On Dealers And Customers [internal]