News has been spreading about the planned increase in production of the Rav4 and along with it comes rumor and speculation about a new little Scion-based pickup. Fact or fiction?The gist of the rumor comes from the idea that Toyota is increasing production of the Rav4 by 25 percent. Also, there is some speculation that there will be an improvement in the Rav4 engine. This combined with the already reported rumors we wrote about a Scion-based pickup means it is moving more to reality. Our sources are pointing to a new Scion pickup based on the Rav4 platform coming in 2014.
Why does this make sense for Toyota? As we recently stated, here are our reasons for a Compact, Unibody Scion Pickup:
- Because the Tacoma has grown from compact to midsize, there might be room in the marketplace for a truly compact pickup truck.
- Truck owners seem to be fiercely loyal to a particular brand, and this loyalty is often fostered at a young age. Building a cheap compact Toyota truck gives us a chance to grow a lifetime customer.
- A compact pickup would help Toyota meet our federal fleet fuel economy rating.
- Compact little unibody pickups have some appeal worldwide.
- Toyota is really, really good at building small vehicles.
While some manufactures are discontinuing their small pickups and forcing consumers to buy their larger sizes (see: Ford Ranger, Ford F-150), plus the rise of gas prices lately, the need for something is growing.
A small pickup makes a lot of sense. While American consumers have been buying full-size pickups for years, the trend world-wide is for smaller pickups. Yes, they don’t have the power/towing capacity of their larger brethen, they do retain the handiness of having a truck bed. There are many people out there that would like the truck bed and the gas mileage of a car.
Just like the El Camino was a great fit for consumers looking for a pickup without the big truck feel, the Scion-based pickup could capture a niche market and maybe even a similar cult-like following the El Camino enjoys.
In the end, the new Scion-based truck is going to be marketed for the younger generation. It will be interesting to see how well it sells, since the automotive “experts” have been telling us that older people don’t want a smaller pickup rather we want full-size. American consumers could now have a say with their wallets. Will they prove the experts right or wrong? We will see.