2007 North American International Auto Show
COBO Hall, Riverview Ballroom
January 7, 2007, 12:10 PM Eastern Time
Jim Lentz - TMS Executive Vice President
Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for joining us on opening day of the centennial of the Detroit Auto Show, a gathering that has become our industry's annual opportunity to look forward to the future, and to reflect on our accomplishments.
Looking at our future, 2007 is especially significant, because it marks the 50th anniversary of Toyota Motor Sales in the U.S. We sought to build momentum leading into 2007. And 2006 did not disappoint.
A year ago, here in this room, we staged the world premiere of the sixth-generation Camry. Last month, it was named Motor Trend's "Car of the Year."
On January 1st, it became the best-selling Camry ever.
In October, Camry Hybrid production began at our Kentucky plant. Hybrids have not only become mainstream for Toyota, they have become core models.
Last fall we increased Prius production for the U.S. by 50 percent. Not only will we sell at least 150,000 Prius this year, we plan to sell a quarter of a million Toyota and Lexus hybrids.
And then there is Tundra. Which for us, has changed everything. The new Tundra is by far the most American new product launch in our history.
In a dramatic change from convention, the entire engineering development program was headquartered right down the road in Ann Arbor. Styling was done at our Calty Design Center in California and Michigan. Engines will be built in Alabama, and transmissions in North Carolina, with final assembly at production facilities in Texas and Indiana.
The final product is a quantum leap in concept and execution. It is bigger, stronger and far more capable than the Tundra it replaces. Our annual sales goal of 200,000 units reflects our confidence in the product.
It also reflects a striking change in who the new Tundra was designed for. Tundra was 100-percent customer driven, developed to appeal to an influential group of truck buyers who treat their trucks as a tool and whose opinion other truck buyers respect.
Our focus on this true trucker was inspired by their work ethic, their values, and their ingenuity.
Listening and responding paid huge dividends. We were told emphatically, Give me a regular cab with storage,designed for real, work-truck applications. Replace the access cab with a true double cab with four real doors. Give me a super-sized model with enough interior room for a sliding-and-reclining rear seat. And, give me the guts of heavy duty truck on a half-ton platform.
To that customer, we listened and delivered. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present the "Truck that Changes it all."
The Toyota Tundra Regular Cab…and Double Cab…and the world premiere of the biggest of them all…the Tundra CrewMax…
With three completely redefined cabs, three engines, three bed sizes, three wheelbases, and a total of 31 different models available, Tundra will offer buyers of full-size trucks a broad range of features, interior versatility, and most importantly, capability.
We began by changing the definition of Regular.
The Tundra Regular Cab is now essentially an Xtracab, designed for realistic work-truck applications, with extra-large storage behind the driver's seat, giving it one of the largest passenger compartments in its class.
But all work and no play isn't enough. So, we designed a stylish Sport appearance package, with a fully-color-keyed exterior and a unique grille, which transforms the Regular Cab into a true urban street-truck.
Next, we changed the focus of our highest-volume core model. Last year's Tundra Access Cab is gone, replaced by a Double Cab, with front-hinged rear doors, rear seats with a 22-degree backrest angle, and six inches more rear legroom.
Capable of carrying a crew of six, the new Double Cab will represent about 65 percent of Tundra sales.
The change in direction with the new Regular Cab and Double Cab allowed us to respond to customer-demand for a true super-sized interior.
The CrewMax fills the bill for a wide range of buyers, seeking roominess, comfort and convenience. Its best-in-class rear legroom of 44.5 inches provides the interior accommodations of a full-size SUV, with the utility of a pickup.
A critical element of change, clearly evident in all three Tundra configurations, is a style and a presence that stands out from the crowd.
Stylists refer to it as the 300-yards design, a long distance "read" that is unique and distinctive. It is a style that emits a bold and muscular look and a well-crafted, high-quality feel.
When you make a bold statement, especially a styling statement, you better back it up. The 2007 Tundra will do just that. And it all begins under the hood.
For Regular and Double Cabs, there's the standard 4.0-liter V6, producing 236 horsepower. A 4.7-liter i-Force V8, optional for these models and standard for CrewMax, provides 271 horsepower.
And then there's the all-new 5.7-liter i-Force V8, the most powerful V8 ever offered by Toyota. Available for every model, this new V8 puts out an impressive 381 horsepower.
But more importantly, it provides a work-truck-worthy 401 pounds-feet of peak torque, while achieving an estimated fuel economy of 16 city and 20 highway for 4x2 models, and 14/18 for 4x4 models.
And to make it even better, I'm happy to announce today that later next year, we will offer a 2009 Tundra model powered by the 5.7, featuring flexible fuel capability with E85 ethanol.
The 5.7 is paired exclusively with an all-new six-speed automatic transmission and a 10.5-inch rear-differential, the biggest in the segment and ideal for serious towing.
If you're wondering how that much power and torque stack up against the competition, so were we. AMCI was hired to run a battery of acceleration and braking tests. Tundra dominated nearly all of the tests, the results of which will be published later. However, there is one that was particular telling.
All five competitors were hooked up to 8500-lb. trailers for zero-to-sixty acceleration runs. In this test, Tundra towed its load more than two seconds quicker than the second-best truck.
Towing is one of Tundra's true strengths. When equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 engine and Tow Package, all three cab configurations offer maximum towing capacity in excess of 10,000 pounds, with the Regular Cab tipping the scales at a maximum of 10,800 pounds.
In fact more than 95 percent of all Tundras powered by the 5.7 will be equipped with the towing package which includes a towing receiver, sub-frame assembly, extra-duty cooling and electrical systems to provide greater durability over the long haul, and a Tow/Haul mode that lets the driver change the transmission shift points and throttle response for more effective towing of heavy loads.
The result is a vehicle that will tow maximum loads in excess of 10,000 lbs.
with confidence, balance and control.
Of, course, it takes more than a powerful engine and a comprehensive towing package to deliver this level of capability.
The Tundra is built on a new foundation that is optimized for vigorous work duty, impact safety and ride quality.
Tundra's advanced TripleTech frame uses wide, full-boxed frame rails for the front portion, reinforced C-channel under the cab, and an open C-channel underneath the bed to maximize strength, ride quality, and durability.
Finally, we knew that if the Tundra was going to tow and haul such heavy loads, we'd better have the right braking system. So we equipped it with standard
18-inch wheels, a segment first, in order to fit some of the biggest brakes in the class.
Capability is one thing and content is yet another. And it all starts with safety.
Tundra will deliver the highest level of standard safety features among all full-size pickups.
Tundra is the first full-size pickup to feature standard front seat airbags and roll-sensing side-curtain airbags in all models.
Tundra will also be the first full-size pickup to offer the traction-enhancing dynamic control of an automatic limited-slip rear differential as standard equipment.
Finally, all Tundra models feature the same STAR Safety System we've offered on our full-line of SUVs for the last two years. The system integrates four-wheel anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, traction control and vehicle stability control, another industry first.
As I mentioned earlier, Tundra's development was 100-percent customer driven.
Listening to the customer resulted in the many clever things that make a big difference. Surprises and smart features, such as an internally dampened tailgate assist, both opening and closing; a back-up camera that helps the driver perfectly align the hitch-ball under the trailer tongue; a center console deep enough to hold hanging file folders, a pickup truck first, and a laptop computer; and outlets that remain live for up to two hours after the ignition is switched off.
I'd like to step back for a moment to introduce a person who has been a close friend and collaborator for many years. Yuichiro Obu has the distinction of having been the chief engineer for three North American products.
During that time, he has developed an uncanny awareness for the wants and needs of American consumers, and surrounded himself with a savvy team of American engineers.
Ladies and gentlemen, Chief Engineer Obu and his Ann Arbor-based Tundra engineering team. Thank you all for joining us today.
As you can see, this is a very different Tundra. And it will attract a wide variety of new and very different buyers.
Our marketing approach will be equally different, taking the Tundra to the customer, connecting with their lifestyle environment, and allowing them to experience the truck that is changing it all.
To build early consideration, we just launched a flurry of teaser ads on television, each piece designed to convey a simple, yet impactful idea.
Here's an example. (roll ad)
As you can see, our message will be product-focused. It's an approach we think true truckers will see as authentic and trustworthy, just like their truck.
Tundra Regular and Double Cabs go on sale in early February, with the CrewMax arriving in March. We will announce full-line pricing later this month.
We are fully aware of how many chips are on the table and that our competitors are all in. Competition will be fierce. And there is no doubt, it will be a buyer's market for quite some time.
We're totally committed to establishing Tundra's position as the highest quality, most capable, best value pick-up in the full-size segment.
Thank you all for joining us today.