Toyota Australia's appetite for big trucks hasn't disappeared, with a senior executive confirming the company is still interested in a right-hand drive Tundra and Tacoma for the Australian market.
American Special Vehicles, which remanufactures the Ram 1500 and 2500, along with the Chevrolet Camaro and Silverado products out of its Clayton headquarters, recently moved to 24 hour production to keep up with demand.
This, along with constant interest from Toyota customers has spurred the Australian arm to study options for the Australian market.
"Do we have interest? Of course we do," said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing.
"Yeah, I mean we're constantly studying that market. We're constantly interested in it so... you know, we have no, no confirmed plans at all to announce today but it's something we continue to study."
Asked whether there's a business case for converting these vehicles in Australia, or even running the engineering program for factory right-hand drive, Hanley said the interest needs to be met with market demand – and adequate margin.
"These are the things we're working through all the time. Market size, and trends in the future, all these things are deeply important, you know, CO2 considerations going forward are deeply important," Hanley said.
"There's a lot of... there's such a range of diversity of considerations in our market. You know, the next decade will see significant movement in the auto industry in Australia, and indeed across the world, so these are all things we have to study."
Toyota could significantly reduce its workload by getting vehicles like the Tundra or Tacoma converted locally by someone like American Special Vehicles.
There was a hint of interest in Hanley's voice, but he ultimately shut the idea down.
"Not considered that to be honest. Walkinshaw are pretty busy at the moment. They're flat out," said Hanley.
Either way, Australia has proven that there is a huge appetite for big trucks. While they may not make sense in the rat race of suburbia, they make a hell of a lot of sense in country areas for towing.
Would you like to see either or both the Tundra and Tacoma locally in the future as right-hand drive models?