What It Is: A next-generation Chevrolet Tahoe (or GMC Yukon—it’s nearly impossible to tell the two apart without badging or visible grillework) wrapped in a parka. Despite the blacked-out oval badge on the front end, it definitely is not a Ford, although this prototype was spied running with an Expedition as well as a Toyota Sequoia.
Why It Matters: The body-on-frame SUV is a bit of an oddity these days, but the format will carry forward for GM’s next-gen full-size utilities—good news for those who perform regular heavy lifting. The Tahoe and Yukon have traditionally been huge profit generators for GM, but will need greatly improved fuel efficiency if they’re to continue serving as their respective brands’ golden geese.
Platform: The Tahoe and Yukon—as well as the next-gen Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra—will ride on an evolution of the GMT900 platform, which we’re hearing could be called GMT1000. We understand this platform will go on a huge diet relative to its predecessor; curb weights reduced by as much as 500 pounds are possible. An increased use of high-strength steel in the overall structure will play a big role in the weight loss.
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The planet debut of the new 2012 Toyota Camry marks a big point for Toyota Motor Corp. and their long term. Simply because the brand has lost a significant volume of sales to rivals like Hyundai, ToMoCo desires to fight back…hard.
“They (Toyota) have been given a black eye above the previous three years for diverse items, some beyond their manage and some that showed kinks in their armor,” said Ed Kim, an sector analyst for AutoPacific Inc., referring to occasions this kind of as the financial recession, recalls and the Japanese earthquake in March.
At its global launch, ToMoCo went above and beyond with the new 2012 Camry with PR occasions taking spot all above the US, a single of which took spot at Hollywood’s Paramount Studios in Los Angeles featuring a New York City-themed backdrop with more than 200 actors, dancers and musicians.
“It really begins with the all-new Camry Camry is the keystone of the brand,” said vice president of US sales for ToMoCo, Bob Carter. “Then the cadence comes quicker than I’ve seen in 30 many years with Toyota.”
To further elaborate on Toyota’s strike back, they also have some important plans for their very own lineup, Scion’s and Lexus’s lineup.
Beginning with Toyota, the organization will be launching their hybrid Prius v wagon, the plug-in Prius and the Prius c compact hybrid, an updated Tacoma, a battery-powered all-electric RAV4 and a revamped Yaris subcompact. Furthermore, for the coming many years, in 2013, the Avalon and the Highlander will get a redesign whilst the RAV4 will be all-new. In 2014, the Toyota Sequoia, Land Cruiser and Tundra will get a redesign. Lastly, in 215, the Toyota Corolla and Prius will be redesigned with the debut of the new FT-86.
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GM’s big SUVs harken back to an era of conspicuous consumption, when $ 2-a gallon gas and a lingering nostalgia of 15-foot-long American cars flooded the industry. But if the Volt is any indicator, the era of big, cheap Suburbans and Tahoes might finally come to an end with next generation trucks.
To meet new fuel economy regulations, General Motors will add a price premium to its line of full-size SUVs. Currently, the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe get a combined average of 17-mpg. But new CAFE regulations will force GM to reach a company-wide average of 35.5-mpg by 2016, and there’s no time to waste.
As a result, GM’s next generation of full-size SUVs “will be more expensive to engineer and build because of the need for lighter weight materials,” said Tracy Handler, an analyst at IHS Automotive. “I expect prices to be higher.”
Sales of full-size SUVs have sunk like, well, a full-size SUV into a lake. From a high of over 1 million units in 2003 and 2004, sales of the Suburban, Escalade, Toyota Sequoia, Lincoln Navigator, and others dropped to 372,437 vehicles. There have been prior doubts to whether this would be the last time these squirrel crushing, deer smacking, driving machines would live to see next year, but GM is still committed to introducing them in 2013 as 2014 models: it is investing over $ 300 million in its Arlington, Texas plant for the next Suburban, Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade.
“We have customers who need full-sized SUVs for work and play,” Chevrolet spokesman Mike Albano said. “We will continue to provide a vehicle in that segment.”
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Filed under: SUV, Truck, Toyota
At it’s peak in 2002, Toyota was selling over 70,000 Sequoias. Last year, that number dropped to below 20,000 units. So it comes as little surprise that ToMoCo will be nixing its Tundra-based SUV at the end of the current model’s lifecycle.
A source speaking with PickupTrucks.com confirmed that the Sequoia won’t live on, partially due to slow sales, but surely in part to get Toyota’s CAFE ratings in check before the new rules hit in 2015. But all’s not lost for the automaker’s body-on-frame offerings.
A redesigned Tundra is set to arrive in 2014, just in time for Ford, General Motors and Nissan’s newest half-ton pickups. Although sales of the Tundra haven’t lived up to Toyota’s lofty expectations, it’s obvious the automaker feels the need to compete in the segment, and a refreshed model should help sales, despite the market’s less-than-enthusiastic reception of Toyota’s largest pickup.
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