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Since I have nothing to do, right now, but to wait for my CrewMax Limited for the next three weeks or three months (no telling), I thought I'd post the article that appeared last week about how truck buyers aren't going for the usual Toyota "Pick any of these we have on the lot" method of selling. This is something that domestic manufacturers have known for a long time.

When I bought my new Ram in '02, which was the first model year for this current generation, I remember sitting at the Dodge dealership in October '01 when they only had like 3 on the lot and my salesperson went down the options list on the computer and asked me what factory options I wanted on my truck. I got it in about a month.

Apparently, Toyota customers usually just go to the lot and pick from what is available. They don't even carry a lot of inventory. I'm not sure why the full size truck market is different. Perhaps it has something to do with the approximate $10K profit that is made on each vehicle. Truck buyers aren't just buying transportation to get from point A to point B. We spend a lot more time in our vehicles, probably, than Camry owners.

Part of the problem, I'm sure, is that Toyota has tried to match the lineup of options that the domestics have with nav, stereos, colors, wheels, bed sizes, cab sizes, etc. However, the famous Toyota Just In Time manufacturing process specifically prohibits any inventories of parts needed to custom build trucks. The factory runs must be made in batches. Therefore, nobody has any idea when the next batch of 5.7 2WD CrewMax Limited with nav, moonroof, & bucket seats is going to be made. They certainly have no capability to make one for me even though I ordered one of the standard options combos for my dealerships region.

So, we wait. Some of you will inevitably say that this is such a fantastic truck that I should be happy to wait. Gee, :ts: for that useful information. If I wasn't willing to wait, I would just buy another Dodge.

In order for Toyota to avoid this problem, they are either going to have to change their manufacturing processes (not likely), or reduce the number of configurations, ie Limited comes with nav, sonar, buckets, moonroof, 20's automatically, and SR5 does not. The method of trading among dealerships from their allocation seems to work better among some dealerships than others. I can't imagine that two competitive Toyota dealers in a given city are willing to help each other out that much. At least they should dispense with the ridiculous "Build Your Own" website when they really are only offering "Pick from one of these", at least for this model year.

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It's All In The MixToyota dealers have a hard time finding the exact Tundra customers want

By MARY CONNELLY | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Updated: 04/23/07, 1:50 pm et

Launching the 2007 Tundra is giving Toyota culture shock.

Buyers of Toyota's redesigned full-sized pickup are acting like buyers of domestic trucks. They demand specific features, colors and trim levels, says Jim Farley, Toyota Division's former group vice president of marketing. Late last week, Farley became general manager of Lexus Division.

It's a switch for a company whose customers typically accept whatever is available from lean inventories of the Camry and other popular models, Farley concedes.

Tundra customers "say, 'I want the off-road package with the black leather interior,' " Farley told Automotive News. "They have a build-to-order mentality that we are not used to at Toyota."

Toyota is swapping Tundras among sales regions and allowing dealers to change build orders to meet customer demands, Farley says.

Domestic-brand dealerships traditionally carry much larger inventories than Toyota retailers, Farley says. As a result, he says, "customers can literally walk down a row and say, 'That's my truck.' "

By contrast, Farley says, Toyota dealers are unaccustomed to hearing customers say: "I want your CrewMax, but I am not going to buy it until I see it."

Toyota is using a flexible vehicle pool to manage Tundra inventory, Farley says. "A dealer in Ohio calls the distribution manager and says, 'Can you flip the red one I have with the black one I want?' "

Local dealer trades also are possible, he says. But they are not always successful, given variations in Tundra configurations.

Dealers can make minor changes in build orders, such as vehicle color, a week before production, Farley says. They also can file special orders.

Toyota is working to accommodate more complex changes quicker, Farley says. But he notes that the redesigned Tundra has 31 models compared with 16 in the version it replaced: "The complexity is enormous."
 

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hello, i think alot of tundra buyers where like me , they were giving up a perfectly good toyota already. the new one had to be special,just right , to justify the trade. i loved my 2002 tundra but don't miss it at all ,.........good trade
 

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Kan Ban inventory management makes it tough for them to make custom vehicles. The Kan Ban ideologyonly allows an inventory that supports the immediate needs, and relies on a constant inbound flow of parts.

We use it in our pet food facilities with great success, but then again, we no loger take custom orders for pet food.:D

The system is very effective and practical for toyoter, but they may have to modify it in order to adapt to this different breed of automotive buyer.:)
 

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I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that probably most buyers of the new Tundra (or any expensive truck) are buying it more as a mutil-use car and less as a work tool. People have decided if they are going to pay the same amount for a pickup truck that some people pay for their first home, then it damn well better be exactly what they want. Couple that with the fact that there are just so many more options on trucks these days and it's no wonder.. It can be very costly to buy a truck loaded with options you don't need or want. Likewise, it can be very hard to spend that much money on something and not get every option that you do want.
 

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My dealer just happened to have the truck I wanted on their lot. When we ordered our Sienna, we waited almost 2 months. I had already sold my car, so the dealer gave me a Taurus loaner. It had 0 miles on it when they gave it to me. I returned it with almost 2500 miles.
 

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Other than the local GM dealers had many more vehicles on the lot to choose from (none I wanted though), the "custom" ordering process was just as cumbersome and time-consuming at GM as it would have been at Toyota (except we found one I liked at a local dealer).

The GM I was interested in was an '07 Sierra 4x4 SLE2 with the 6.0L v8. I was told that the factory wasn't puting any 6.0L's in anything except Denalis, while they were re-configuring to the Active Fuel Management. I would have to wait until they started making them again, then wait another 8 weeks for them to make mine.

Last year my buddy went looking for a GM K2500 Sierra, in April. They stalled him for a week or so, then told him it was too late in the model year to order a 3/4 ton - then pushed him in the direction of a 1/2 ton. He bought a 1/2 ton, and has been unhappy ever since. Funny thing, when the new model year came out, they had immediate availability on some GM K2500 "Classics" - which is actually the left over 06' models.
 

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I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that probably most buyers of the new Tundra (or any expensive truck) are buying it more as a mutil-use car and less as a work tool. People have decided if they are going to pay the same amount for a pickup truck that some people pay for their first home, then it damn well better be exactly what they want. Couple that with the fact that there are just so many more options on trucks these days and it's no wonder.. It can be very costly to buy a truck loaded with options you don't need or want. Likewise, it can be very hard to spend that much money on something and not get every option that you do want.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Im not going to spend north of 40k and not get what i want.
 
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