Can the Toyota Tacoma survive the 2015 Chevy Colorado and 2016 Nissan Frontier?
The 2014 Toyota Tacoma is already losing share to rival Nissan’s Frontier. That is not the worst of Toyota’s Tacoma worries. The new Chevrolet Colorado and the new GMC Canyon are just about to launch as 2015 models in the coming months. There is no doubt this could hurt Toyota’s Tacoma sales.
2016 Tacoma Will have to Fight a War On Two Fronts
After a new model enters the mix in any automotive segment the new model does well, takes a bite of the pie and then things often return to some sense of normalcy for the segment leaders. However, a sea change may be coming. The Nissan Frontier will be updated for 2016. That means that Tacoma may have a sales decline in 2015 and then another decline in 2016.
2014 Toyota Tacoma Sales Down, Nissan Frontier Sales Up Same Amount
In June, the 2014 Toyota Tacoma’s sales slide continued. The Tacoma’s June sales number of about 12,000 trucks is still respectable in terms of any vehicle’s sales. However, for the first half of the year to date, the Tacoma has lost 6,000 vehicles compared to last year. The Nissan Frontier sells in much smaller numbers, about 5,000 trucks per month, but for the first half of 2014 it is up exactly 6,598 units. It does not take much of a leap to assume that the Frontier is taking share from the Tacoma.
Nissan Navara Concept and Diesel Runner Threaten Tacoma
Our Nissan reporter previewed the new Frontier, that Nissan calls the Navara, in June. Turpen knows his Nissans, and he is not predicting a huge redesign of the Frontier. He does think it will have a diesel engine option though. Nissan created what it called the Diesel Runner Frontier to test consumer interest. Based on our recent stories about Tacoma diesel and hybrid possibilities, it is safe to say there is a lot of interest in a diesel truck this size. If Nissan builds it. The Navara may take some share as a result of new product sales at Toyota’s expense. Worse, it could be a draw to the showroom, where Nissan buyers will consider it, and then drive home in a Nissan truck of whatever type.