Toyota USA has been on a roll recently thanks to the opening of the company's new headquarters and pickup manufacturing plant located in Dallas and San Antonio, Texas respectively. Apart from that, the automaker is also delving into the idea of making a hybrid-powered pickup truck.
In an interview with Automotive News, Toyota USA Group vice president for marketing Ed Laukes stated that the current market is now comprised of mostly pickups and SUVs. With most brands now coming up with newer, more refined misize pickups, it's not before long before a hybrid pickup will be made available in the market.
“There's absolutely no reason we couldn't have a hybrid truck. All those options, we're exploring. When you're trying to raise your CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) limits for the entire brand, there's no option that isn't on the table,” said Laukes.
Last August, Toyota reportedly filed a new patent on a body-on-frame vehicle that comes with some sort of electrification. Apparently, the body-on-frame vehicles has a redesigned frame built to hold a battery unit around it. If Toyota is indeed serious, then it's highly likely that a hybrid version of the Tacoma, Sequoia or 4Runner will be made in the future. There might even be a hybrid version of the Hilux or Land Cruiser given that they are also body-on-frame vehicles.
Apart from making more hybrids, Toyota is also seemingly working on updating their current body-on-frame platforms to meet the competition.
“We are working on that right now. To continue to be able to address that, we have to work on upgrades. Let's face it, the competition is getting stronger and stronger. Things like the [Ford] Ranger coming back. We have to be able to address that,” added Laukes.
Currently, Toyota is working on refreshing the Sequoia, 4Runner and Tundra platforms.
Note: Pickup pictured above is the 2008 Toyota A-BAT hybrid pickup concept