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What is the future of midsize trucks? Truck Makers Weigh In

The numbers are out for November of 2013 and the Tacoma is holding steady, but competition is coming. Recently, all the manufactures weighed in on the midsize truck segment. Here is what they had to say.

Manufacture's Split on Midsize Future - Tacoma Sales Steady

The midsize truck market is changing, here is what all the truck makers have to say.

For November 2013, the Toyota Tacoma sold a steady 12,601 units, up 2.7 percent versus last year. For the year, the Tacoma has sold 146,724 units, up 15 percent over 2012. With steady sales growth, without many changes, Toyota seems pretty comfortable with their market share and is looking forward to new competition.

In a Detroit Free Press story, Bob Carter, Toyota senior vice president of automotive operations said:

“We have this diamond — a 150,000-unit annually pickup truck and it sells with zero incentives.Our business hasn’t declined. It’s just that (nearly) everybody has pulled out.

I actually believe that the Colorado creates more Tacoma business. I really think some energy into the market is going to help.”

The only other competitors right now are the Nissan Frontier and Honda Ridgeline (or is it fullsize? who knows). For Nissan, the Frontier had a stellar month with 6,003 trucks sold, up 54.6 percent. This huge increase is largely attributed to supply issues last year. They have sold more than 57,000 units for the year.  With sales like that and the Titan struggling mightily, Nissan is all in on keeping the Frontier in their lineup.

Ford says it has zero plans to be the Ranger back. They believe their strategy of offering a fullsize only is the right strategy.

“With our fuel-efficient F-150 we can meet demand,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas. “We think our strategy is working.”

Chrysler is also not considering a midsize truck. However, they made some interesting comments in the same Detroit Free Press story. Here is what Ram chief Reid Bigland had to say:

“The question is whether the segment will continue to be squeezed out by the advances in full-size trucks. Or is it a major growth segment?

The vision of a small pickup is easy to understand from a consumer point of view. It’s just hard to execute given how competitive full-size pickups have become.

When we have half-ton trucks that can get 27 miles to the gallon and be had for the low $20,000s, we are struggling with where that would fit. We need to make sure we’re investing in the places where we’re going to get the best return.”

Jeep, on the other hand, is strongly considering a truck. Jeep chief Mike Manley said; “Jeep has a history of pickups. I’m a fan of a pickup. It’s something a number of people would like to see.”

With the manufacture’s split on what the future of the midsize truck market is, it will be interesting to see how everything plays out.

What do you think? Is the segment growing or declining?