Toyota's Next Move: Taking On The Ford Maverick

by AutoExpert   |  28 March, 2024

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Toyota engineers were seen behind the wheel of the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Ford Maverick, two pickup trucks that Toyota is using as a standard. That's why it seems that Toyota is working on a product to compete in this market and is studying its rivals to identify their strengths and areas for improvement.

Although Toyota has not officially announced a little truck to sit underneath the Tacoma, they did unveil the EPU concept at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show. While it looks quite similar to the Maverick, this electric vehicle is smaller than the Tacoma.

Toyota

The Ford Maverick was an immediate success upon release and is still drawing buyers to dealerships, while the Santa Cruz from Hyundai received a redesign for 2025. Some of the reasons for its success include the attractive starting price of $23,815$.

Toyota

It is obvious that Toyota is interested in participating in this profitable market. A lot of manufacturers will try their rivals' automobiles to see how they handle them before the truck enthusiasts among us go too crazy. Reports indicate that Toyota is looking into the market, but the company may decide against developing anything in this category if the figures don't add up.

Toyota

When questioned about the prospect of a Maverick competition, Toyota North America CEO Ted Ogawa told Automotive News that the business has "no plan for that," adding, "Still, we are studying in that area, including the electrification movement." Ogawa elaborated by saying that the light truck category offers greater potential for electrification than the mid- and full-size categories, where conventional buyers predominate and where Toyota has more problems to iron out before making a complete transition to electric powertrains.

Toyota

"So for us, it's one of the opportunities to think about - the smaller size than Tacoma pickup in the future." Meanwhile, Toyoto USA's group VP and general manager, Dave Christ, told AN that the Maverick was under intense scrutiny from the automaker. He further said that consumers would have a more affordable option to full-size and midrange vehicles if there was a smaller pickup truck, which would fill a need that the bigger Tondra and Tacoma cannot.

What makes the Maverick such a hit is this very thing. Given Toyota's track record of dependable and tough vehicles, its inexpensive pickup truck might be a fantastic investment opportunity. There had been rumors that the manufacturer would unveil a tiny vehicle based on the Corolla. This vehicle is said to be assembled in the United States, similar to existing Corolla models, and it is expected to make its premiere in 2027. After a prototype was seen near the Prospecton facility in the KwaZulu-Natal area last year, Toyota South Africa officials acknowledged they were working on a Corolla pickup truck. Sadly, the project was canceled. 

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