2023 Toyota Tundra: Everything We Know So Far

Toyota Tundra’s top-secret right-hand drive program for Australia has remained under the radar for at least four years. Here is the story behind the story.

the tundra It will be in Australian showrooms in mid-2024 with two turbocharged V6 hybrid petrol models priced at between $120,000 and $140,000, if a fleet of 300 strong development vehicles passes extensive real-world testing.

Toyota announced yesterday that the Tundra was being considered for Australia after confirming a partnership with Walkinshaw Automotive Group, the former parent company of Holden Special Vehicles, which has remanufactured more than 15,000 Ram and Chevrolet trucks in the last five years.

While the Japanese auto giant kept quiet about information provided to the media yesterday, Toyota dealers were told at a national conference in Cairns this week that the Tundra is destined for local showrooms, pending any unforeseen roadblocks.

Never before has Toyota undertaken a left-to-right-hand drive remanufacturing program on such a scale, nor entrusted the final assembly of one of its iconic models to a third party.

That’s why Toyota is taking twice as long to complete the engineering approval process as its US rivals, and doing so with far more validation vehicles.

Ride understands that Ram and Chevrolet remanufacturing programs typically involve up to six prototypes during the development of more than 500 locally designed parts over two years, before customer-ready vehicles begin production.

By comparison, Toyota is taking four years and building 300 validation vehicles, plus early tooling prototypes, before passing the Tundra program.

As with Ram and Chevrolet, the Toyota Tundra will arrive in Australia from the US in left-hand drive form before it is rebuilt to factory quality and safety standards by Walkishaw Automotive Group in Melbourne. From there, the vehicles are transported to dealerships across the country.

The arrival of the Toyota Tundra in Australia’s burgeoning US truck market is sure to cause some heartache among Ram, Chevrolet and Ford (which will introduce the F-150 next year, pending any delay).

Toyota, on the other hand, has around 250 dealers, has been Australia’s best-selling car brand for the last two decades, and has a whole database of HiLux and LandCruiser customers who might want to upgrade to a Tundra.

Despite Toyota’s huge network of showrooms and large population of loyal customers, dealers have been told the company has modest sales expectations for the Tundra.

According to estimates shared with dealers, the Toyota Tundra could only sell between 2,000 and 4,000 copies a year. This compares to approximately 2,000 Chevrolet Silverados and approximately 5,000 Ram 1500s estimated to be sold this year.

Toyota’s conservative forecasts mean that, at best, its dealer network will only source between 8 and 16 Tundras for an entire year, unless the company plans to drastically increase production.

Toyota dealers have been told that the Tundra program has been in development for at least four years. According to that timeline, the latest generation Toyota Tundra was in Australia even before it was unveiled globally, though this has yet to be confirmed.

Representatives from Toyota Australia and Walkinshaw Automotive Group declined to answer questions about the local Tundra program despite multiple requests to Ride.

However, Toyota dealers have been told that four prototypes have already been built and at least one has already been shipped to Japan for inspection.

Toyota dealers were also told that more than 30 engineers from Australia and Japan have been working on the top-secret Tundra project, and were shown a photo of the development team on the big screen during the conference.

Toyota dealers were also informed that the first 300 examples of the Toyota Tundra would be thoroughly inspected before the reman program is given final approval, and before local assembly of the customer-ready vehicles begins.

Toyota dealers have been told that the 300 vehicles in the “captive fleet” will not be crushed, but neither will they be sold to customers. Instead, they will be assigned to fleets and used as demo vehicles.

Toyota dealers attending the conference said Ride Two Tundra variants are planned: the flagship Capstone and a more affordable SR5-style model grade.

Both will be powered by a twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine mated to a hybrid system that promises more roar and lower fuel consumption than its V8 rivals, while matching its towing capacity.

Meanwhile, Toyota dealers in Australia say they have already been inundated with calls from customers wanting to put down a deposit to insure a Tundra, though prices, specifications and arrival times have yet to be announced. And, in fact, the Toyota Tundra has been confirmed for Australia before.

Ben Zacharias

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and automotive journalist from Melbourne who has worked in the automotive industry for over 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is considered an expert in the area of ​​classic car investing.

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