Toyota Australia says it has no immediate plans to bring the new Tundra large pickup truck Down Under but that it is “always evaluating”.
As the company gears up to launch its new LandCruiser 300-Series – which has been delayed by months due to production delays – the company is also keeping a keen eye on the all-new Tundra.
“I’m envious,” said Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley, before putting a dampener on hopes the made-for-America ute could head to Australia soon.
“No plans to launch it here,” he said. “Always evaluating … love that Tundra … great car. We are always looking, always evaluating and – who knows?”
Toyota has looked seriously at the Tundra over recent years as sales of utes have boomed.
It has considered local conversions from left-to-right-hand drive and is also understood to have asked head office about the possibilities of sourcing one from the US factory with the steering wheel already on the right.
The Tundra has become more relevant now the Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 are gaining traction in Australia following local conversions.
The new Tundra was revealed in America two weeks ago.
A huge grille and sharper angles characterise its exterior design, while inside there’s a more upmarket look and more tech, including the availability of a 14-inch touchscreen that’s almost as imposing as the grille.
Crucially, the Tundra shares plenty with the LandCruiser 300-Series, including the 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine. The Tundra and LandCruiser also share the TNGA-F ladder frame chassis.
That would presumably make it relatively easy to slot into the LC300’s new 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel that makes 227kW and 700Nm.
The Tundra is even available with a hybrid version of the V6 petrol engine.
For now, though, the focus for Toyota Australia is dealing with a shortage of stock.
A global shortage of semi-conductors has halted or slowed production for dozens of brands, including Toyota.
The company confirmed that while it had 500 LandCruiser 300-Series currently in Australia, they would not be delivered to customers and would instead be used predominantly as demonstrators at the more than 200 Toyota dealers around country.
Production of right-hand drive LC300s out of Japan was not due to restart until at least November, pushing delays well into 2022.
“Our dealers are communicating regularly with our customers,” said Hanley.
“We are doing everything we can to get you behind the wheel of your new Toyota as soon as possible.”
Hanley that unlike some brands Toyota would not be taking equipment out of its cars to minimise the number of computer chips required in manufacturing.
“We have no plans – no plans – to de-spec any of our vehicles.”