To say the Ford Maverick is turning out to be a huge success is an understatement. When orders opened for the 2023 model year of the compact truck, Ford announced the next day that they were already closing those orders as they received way more than anticipated. Nevertheless, it’s a profitable segment, and now it seems Toyota is looking to reenter the small pickup game and compete against the Maverick. Much to the dismay of Stellantis (Ram) and GM (Chevy, GMC), which for whatever reason continue to stay out of the segment entirely.
Toyota Compact Truck: What To Expect
Compact trucks cemented Toyota’s reputation for quality, durability, and reliability. But in 2005, the unkillable Toyota Tacoma grew into a mid-size truck for its second generation. But according to Gear Patrol, Toyota execs are looking into building a competitor for Ford’s tiny truck that will slot below the Tacoma. The small pickup would undoubtedly have a hybrid option since Toyota plans for all vehicles to have one by 2025. The output for Toyota’s hybrid system would be about 40 mpg of the Ford Maverick hybrid. Like the Maverick, a starting price could be in the low $20,000 range, which would make the most sense for Toyota buyers.
Toyota could launch the small pickup in 2023 as execs have alluded to the new truck potentially being shown off at a third HQ Confidential event in 2023. That event has been held in early June for the past two years. That said, it would make more sense to arrive as a 2024 model.
The Ford Maverick is a particular issue for Toyota because it’s proving to be a formidable conquest vehicle, attracting customers from other brands. Sixty percent of Maverick buyers are coming from outside Ford. The second most traded-in vehicle for a Maverick is the Toyota RAV4. Meaning Toyota is losing customers for the tiny truck, which, from a business standpoint, suggests that launching a small truck of its own would be a significant play for the company. This Toyota truck would likely use the TNGA-K platform that underpins the RAV4 and Camry, among other vehicles.
Ram Might Build A Small Truck For USA, GM Just Won’t
Ford’s immediate and most formidable truck rivals, GM and Stellantis, continue to watch the opportunity of the small truck pass them by. That said, Ram CEO Mike Koval seems to understand the urgency/gravity of the matter based a recent conversation with us, as well as other outlets. Ram also sells several small trucks outside the USA and Canada, and thus could be evaluating federalizing and importing something like the Ram 700 or Ram 1000. A smaller truck concept is reportedly being shown to dealers in March of 2023, but a production version could still be a few years away. As for Chevrolet and GMC, the marching orders of an “all electric future” appears to be funneling all resources to full-sized electric trucks for the time being. Even so, a new Chevrolet Montana small truck is being developed for South America, and a Chinese-made Chevrolet S10 also exists in Mexico. Should GM eventually offer a small truck in the USA, it likely won’t be for several more years.