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The Toyota Tundra is the most competent pickup Toyota has ever produced, but the two-year-old truck has been hit hard by the harsh reality of the US auto slump. Gas prices and a sluggish housing industry have conspired to put a wet blanket on the Tundra party, and the San Antonio plant will be closed from August 8 until mid-November to allow dealers to clear out Tundra inventory. When the Texas plant does come back online, a portion of its production could wind up overseas.

At the Management Briefing Seminars, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Inc. President Steve St. Angelo said some Tundras and Sequoias could be produced in the US and shipped overseas. While markets like Europe and Asia aren't likely to turn to trucks and SUVs in large numbers, both the Tundra and Sequoia could be a welcomed addition in the Middle East, where cheap gas prices makes big vehicles more acceptable. While the overseas truck market isn't likely to produce huge demand for the Tundra and Sequoia, the currently untapped markets could help the San Antonio plant come closer to running at its peak efficiency.

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[Source: Auto News (subs req'd)]