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Toyota unveils new bestselling Tacoma pickup amid raised midsize competition

May 23, 2023: Toyota Motor counts on the fourth generation of its Tacoma truck, including a new “Trailhunter” model, maintaining its leadership in the growing U.S. midsize pickup market.

Tacoma has led the midsize pickup segment in sales for almost 20 years, as competitors such as Ford, Jeep and Chevrolet have come, gone and returned to the part. According to auto research firm Edmunds, Midsize pickup trucks meant 4.4% of total U.S. vehicle sales in 2022.

″Tacoma is the first selling vehicle in the areas; we intend for that to remain,” Joseph Moses, Toyota North America general manager of trucks and SUVs, said. “We believe we’ve got that in place with this new model.”

According to Edmunds, Toyota had commanded a roughly 40% of the American midsize pickup truck segment since 2019, when Ford Motor and Jeep reentered the market. That’s down from an over 60% market share a decade ago, despite Tacoma sales that increased roughly 150% since then as competitors automakers have unleashed new trucks.

Trailing Toyota is General Motors, which sells the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon. Edmunds reports the Detroit automaker’s share of the U.S. midsize pickup segment last year was about 19%, followed by Stellantis’ Jeep Gladiator at 12.8% and the Nissan Frontier at 12.5%

The 2024 Tacoma, which Toyota revealed early Friday, features new exterior and interior designs and upgraded safety, convenience and performance technologies. It will offer two turbocharged 2.4-litre, four-cylinder engine options, which include an “i-FORCE MAX” hybrid model that shows 326 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque.

The Tacoma unveiling comes following Ford showcased its new Ranger for the U.S. market and GM released its next-gen Colorado and Canyon models. All those trucks feature pricier off-road or performance models.

The recent Tacoma “Trailhunter” model is a rugged-looking truck targeted at enthusiasts of Overlanding, a combination of off-roading and camps that can use the bed or top of the cars to sleep. The Japanese automaker is partnering with Australian-based overlanding company ARB to outfit the car.

Automakers have been expanding their off-road vehicle offerings to boost profits on trucks and SUVs with far less investment than a new vehicle. Toyota also offers “TRD” models that include off-road capabilities or aesthetics.

Unlike several competitors, Toyota will continue producing a two-door version of the Tacoma and offer two many-bed lengths. Most competitors have shifted to providing only four-door midsize pickups with one-bed options to reduce complexity. Toyota also offers the truck a manual transmission, a rarity in today’s automotive industry.

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Toyota unveils new bestselling Tacoma pickup amid raised midsize competition