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Why are 2014 Toyota Tundra sales growing so much?

Toyota's sales are down, the industry is moaning about poor sales overall, and yet the Tundra is on a multi-year sales increase curve. Why?

Toyota trucks have very quietly been doing great lately. Whenever we post a story saying this we get wonderful feedback from Toyota truck bashers calling them names and such. We love it. All the while Toyota’s made in the USA Tundra just keeps inching forward. Gaining market share, adding profits to Toyota’s US operations.

Toyota’s February Tundra sales were up about 8.4%. This despite Toyota’s fleet sales declining dramatically, and sales overall being down for the second straight month. One month means very little and it has been tough to sit on this story. In December of this past year (2013) Tundra was up 11.4%. January’s Tundra sales were up 12.6%. These percentage gains are all over the prior calendar year’s sales of that month. However, this is not some small 3 month trend. The Tundra was up 7.2% overall in 2013 versus 2012. The truck is on a steep slope. How would you like 10% interest on a bank account?

Overall truck sales are not necessarily up. GM’s Silverado was down 12% in February and is down a whopping 15% year to date. It isn’t due to buyers taking home the new Colorado either. According to GM’s official sales numbers in its press release GM sold 1 Colorado last month. It isn’t really out yet obviously. Maybe all those GM buyers read our very positive Colorado story and are waiting? Doubt it.

The Tacoma is down, so it could be that relatively cheap gas and a new Tundra on lots is luring buyers of Toyota trucky things away from the smallish truck. Also the Highlander, RAV 4, and 4 Runner are up, so Toyota’s decline in Tacoma sales could be an internal thing.

As we reported last fall, Toyota is only 4rth in trucks if you count the massive commercial and farming pickups that Ford and GM sell a lot of. Compare the Tundra to the types of trucks like it made by Ram, GMC and even Chevy and the Tundra’s sales are not at all small. Ford is way ahead, and with the cool new aluminum body to brag about we expect that to continue.

Why do you think Toyota’s Tundra sales are on such a steep incline? Comment below, and unless you are overly insulting, we will also approve the negative comments. Have at it.

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Patrick (not verified)    March 4, 2014 - 9:15PM

In my opinion why the Tundra sales are up is because of its reliability. of course there are other factors to this as well but I think this attribute is a attractive thing to the America car buyer. Americans are keeping there cars longer than average and buying a new vehicle is an investment. When it comes to trucks all what comes down too is who's the last one standing in my opinion. The Toyota Tundra delivers that quality and reliability. The ford f150 the market leader for example has declined in realibilty the past few years probably due to the my ford touch there infotainment system most likely. The segment is very conoetive and GM,RAM and FORD are making big strides in invation for there next gen trucks to be more efficient which I think it's great. When the 2014 tundra was introduced it looked more refined and chiseled as they say to attract more truck buyers looking for a tougher looking rig. Now we all know they carried over the power train from the previous generation but they made huge improvements all around the exterior and interior. This new style I think has swayed some loyalist from the big three to give the truck a shot. I have owned a chevy,ford and now currently a 2013 Toyota Tundra Crewmax.My chevy silverado had a lot of engine troubles and brakes went out a lot. It to me was a great truck all around but the matinence cost were just to expensive. To be fair it was a 1997 model so they were not really great back then.My 2002 f150 was awesome it was a great truck. I put over 200,000 miles on it with routine up keep to have it stay running but I needed to get something else. My loyalty in my mind was with ford but when I aproached multiple dealerships to get finaced through ford,it just didn't happen they quoted me 12% interest and lowered to 8% to be nice. I was really upset at the time because I wanted a f150 just wasn't the right price at all. I decided to go to toyota and look at tundras just to see. I test drove one and fell in love. I liked the power and the space. It was just a great truck and hearing feedback from friends that have them convinced me to consider. I went through financing and got 0% interest with 2,000 down and was really happy with my buy,,now having the truck for almost a year I see why people live these trucks.
5.75% American content
6. Great financing

John Goreham    March 5, 2014 - 3:30PM

In reply to by Patrick (not verified)

I think you nailed it. In fact, just like you, my family went to Toyota and Honda brands after multiple failed Chevys drove us to look for something that would simply work. My family only had GM products for literally 40 years and 3 generations. Since the switch we have had Lexus, Acura, Toyota and Hondas. Like you say once you actually try them you love them. Our fourth generation since the switch away from GM starts driving in 2 years. Most likely in a 2007 highlander.

Matt (not verified)    March 13, 2014 - 5:53PM

I know that you guys don't want to hear this but I think there are a good number of people who consider GM and RAM a political pawns. I think this perception is particularly damaging among truck buyers. With the Tundra Engine Transmission and final assembly done in the USA a the foreign name brand is easier to swallow for this group. This means Ford and its' demonically possessed infotainment systems is the only other alternative for this group.

John Goreham    March 13, 2014 - 6:35PM

In reply to by Matt (not verified)

You've got us all wrong. I LOVED that comment. Thank you for adding it. There is no question that there are folks who won't buy a GM or Fiat for political reasons. There are many at every family gathering at my house. The issue also goes deeper than just what happened after 2008.

marko (not verified)    May 24, 2014 - 11:33PM

Asa 2011/12 Tundra owner I too was sold on reliability, financing, comfort and to a large degree style and individuality. Having driven the 2014, i do not understand the jump in sales , it does drive slightly better, but has lost much of the practicality, storage and comfort. Most of all i think the truck looks bland and a cross between the GM and Ford products, but maybe that is where the new buyers have come from, they want their bland trucks but they want reliable ones and have found it in the Toyota. My biggest gripe of teh GM is its brick styling, the Ford, it's uncomfy and complicated interior. To me the new Tundra has adopted both of these elements. Seriously tempted to buy out my lease and keep the 2011 until they redesign it as I love my older model Tundra, or if I do lease the new one, will do so short term in hope they change things up for 2016 with styling from the FTX concept .

Wanetta (not verified)    June 12, 2014 - 11:52AM

As a previous Ford Only family, we bought our first Toyota Camry when I graduated college. I promptly put over 88k on the vehicle prior to it being totaled in a wreck, that could have and should have easily killed myself and my son and didn't. We were told it was because we were in a Toyota by hwy patrol. Insurance company gave us approx. $6k off the car that was, by now 3 years old. It was replaced by a Ford Expedition (for size/fear from the wreck) and we put a mere 120k on that vehicle in little over 6 years. We barely got 1/4 of what we paid for it and that vehicle was LOADED compared to the base Camry. Next vehicle, Base Toyota Rav4. Same thing again, totaled ina wreck, 5 years old over 140k on the vehicle and we only LOST $3k what we paid for the original vehicle. The reason people buy and pay more and stick with Toyota is because they trade for more in the end. I am looking at Tundras now for my 16 yo son to drive as a first car and for one with 100k miles on it, I am still only paying about $15k under what the original purchase price of the car was. That speaks volumes, does it not? And the fact that I look at the truck today, and tomorrow it is SOLD says a lot, too. These vehicles are built to last...kind of like the old cars from our youth and the old appliances from our youth. :)

Wanetta (not verified)    June 12, 2014 - 2:08PM

In reply to by John Goreham

No, John-it would have been taken in stride had you made a joke! Would you believe NONE of the wrecks were even MY fault?? ha! You can joke about it. Everyone who knows me does. I am ALWAYS hit from behind by an un-insured motorist, too. Nice!
A side bar which MAY or MAY NOT reflect highly on the Toyotas being totaled as well: They were always totaled because it was cheaper to pay me off than it would be to repair them, but they were always repairable! I even drove them from the scene of the wreck to the body shop each time.

Robertson (not verified)    November 29, 2014 - 10:47PM

Toyota must be supplying you with Tundra-Toyota pays the tab.Automotive journalists are so full of BS your a car salesman.