SEMA eNews Vol. 10, No. 18, May 3, 2007

TUNDRA BUYERS NOW PREFER MORE PERSONALIZATION

A recent AutoWeek.com article reported that Jim Farley, now group vice president and general manager of the Lexus Division, said that Toyota Tundra buyers are more demanding when it comes to choosing the model with the trim, color and features that fits their needs versus buyers of the previous generation Tundra.

Like current buyers of domestic trucks, Tundra shoppers no longer accept whatever version happens to be on the dealer lots, Farley notes. Buyers of this redesigned truck are now adopting the need for personalization that domestic truck buyers have had for years. This could leave opportunities for specialty-equipment companies to jump in and offer the parts and accessories that the now more finicky Tundra buyers are demanding. The picture below shows an example of a customized 2007 Toyota Tundra that Ground Force displayed at the 2006 SEMA Show.

Farley told Automotive News that Tundra customers now ask for off-road packages with black leather interiors, for example, which translates to a built-to-order mentality that Tundra buyers of the past lacked. This is, in part, due to Toyota releasing 31 Tundra model configurations—nearly double compared to the 16 models offered for the previous generation. Also, Tundra buyers have more accessory options at the dealerships than in previous years, including several specialty-equipment company brands of truck-bed accessories and work-truck equipment.

With the new Tundra being bigger and more powerful than before—and Toyota making consumers aware of this with its aggressive marketing campaign—and now coming with more available dealer options, it may now be joining the ranks of the domestic trucks in the minds of consumers contemplating their next truck purchase.

Sources: Connely, Mary. (April, 23, 2007). “It’s All in the Mix: Toyota Dealers Have a Hard Time Finding the Exact Tundra Customers Want.” AutoWeek. Retrieved April 26, 2007 from www.autoweek.com; SEMA Research and Information Center.