When Bloomberg spoke to Toyota USA Sales CEO Kazua Ohara recently, we highlighted his comments on the possible return of the Toyota Supra. However, the interview started with Ohara discussing the Tundra, and how it would take time to pinpoint and hone the pickup truck's brand image in the minds of consumers. That effort could get a boost, with a report in Edmunds saying that Toyota is "evaluating" the addition of a Cummins turbodiesel to the Tundra's engine options.

The Cummins powerplant is one of two options for the moment, the other being a hybrid powertrain. If the oil-burner got the thumbs-up, Toyota would follow the recent example of Nissan, which announced it would put a Cummins turbodiesel into its 2015 Titan. While the two Japanese companies make a closer comparison since they're both talking about Cummins applications in light-duty trucks, if it happens, it could be seen as further diluting the once-exclusive tie-up that Ram trucks has had with Cummins even though Ram has used Cummins in its heavy-duty truck.

Toyota hasn't said when it will decide on which direction to take, but either will be a move for the better in the view of segment watchers; PickupTrucks.com said the first of its top-five fixes for the Tundra would be a better engine, perhaps a diesel-electric hybrid from Toyota's Hino unit. Cummins told Edmunds it can supply a second manufacturer with the 5.0-liter diesel that Nissan will be using, so we wouldn't be surprised to see it end up in a Toyota or somewhere else.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 51 Comments
      rsholland
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why Cummins? They sell an excellent in-house 4.5L DOHC V8 turbo-diesel in the Australian Land Cruiser 200. http://www.toyota.com.au/landcruiser-200/specifications/gx-turbo-diesel?WT.ac=VH_LC200_RangeSpecs_GXL_Specs All they have to do is get the emissions to meet US standards.
        Jerry
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rsholland
        Ah, but that might not be possible without a complete redesign
          rsholland
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jerry
          I doubt it. The Tundra and Land Cruiser are closely related. In fact they share the same V8 gas engine now.
          Bruce Lee
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jerry
          rsholland, what he means is that the current diesel in that Land Cruiser doesn't meet US diesel exhaust specs so it wouldn't be possible without a complete redesign. It doesn't matter that they're closely related because neither vehicle has a diesel option in the US, so being able to fit it into the engine bay isn't going to help the motor clear US standards. Cummins will have already done all the work to get their motor to pass emissions here so it might well be cheaper for Toyota to just use the Cummins powerplant instead of trying to get their own motor to meet very US specific emissions standards.
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jerry
          I do not no why the down vote but you are absolutely correct, toyota only have two clean diesel 1.4 and 3.0, the unit in the prado is not a clean diesel, they would have to put in more work to achieve one.I mean look at nissan they have 4 clean diesel engines and still used cummins. not to say the tacoma could not have got the 3.0 liter unit, it could.
        Robert Ryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rsholland
        Exactly and it would not take much to make it US Tier regulation capable . Japanese Diesels already are in the US. European Diesels are appearing in greater numbers throughout the US.
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      While adding a Cummins diesel to the current Tundra could certainly help sales, it will be if Toyota continues to use their diesel engines when they finally get around to developing a next-gen Tundra that will determine the significance of any Cummins deal. Much as Cummins helped Dodge and then Ram develop a very loyal group of buyers for their trucks, a Cummins Toyota Tundra could help create a new group of buyers attracted to the truck beyond the current niche of Camry-owners who need a truck. However, Toyota, unlike its US competition, doesn't have a strong history of keeping their trucks up to date beyond making a single detached improvement like adding a new engine. Where Ram trucks have a new chassis, GM has just released all-new Chevy and GMC trucks, and Ford will sell a totally new F-150 next year, the Tundra got a new, ugly grill. Until Toyota and Nissan start to follow their US competition pattern of continuous improvements, they will never be more than niche in the huge US truck marketplace.
        Robert Ryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmt_1
        The Tundra and Tacoma are sideline operations for Toyota, not the main moneymakers for them in the US. The Tacoma is based on the very old Hilux Surf Architecture.
          rmt_1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Robert Ryan
          The Tundra and the Tacoma may be sidelines operations in the US for Toyota, but interestingly each for different reasons. The Tacoma is a spiritual link with Toyota's first small pickups sold in the US back in the 1960's and, while much larger than those old trucks from Toyota's earliest days in the US, is much smaller than the traditional half-ton pickups from American manufacturers. The Tacoma's biggest problems are the fact that it isn't that much smaller than half-ton pickups today, while costing about the same money as the more capable half-tons and Toyota's total lack of platform or engine development for the Tacoma; arguably, the Tacoma has been as static in design as the now deceased Ford Ranger was and is probably now the oldest vehicle design sold by Toyota by at least seven years over the second oldest. Currently, the Tacoma's only selling points are its relative size to standard half-tons and that its a Toyota; those points just aren't enough in today's market. As for the Tundra, when it first came out, it was about even with its in development with any of its American competition in the half-ton truck class. Toyota invested a lot of time and money to give the Tundra a fair shot at taking market share from the competition; from being assembled in Texas to the care Toyota's dealerships gave it with their customer base, the Tundra had a solid base to grow sales. And from this point, Toyota did nothing. Development seemed to just stop for no logical reason and their American competition left the Tundra far behind within 2 years with stronger boxed frames, improved engines, transmissions with more gears, higher tow ratings, better interiors, and so much more. Toyota just never seemed to grasp that the truck market is extremely profitable, but only to those who never stop improving their trucks. A single truck sale can create to same profit as 3 car sales, so that fact alone keeps the wheels of innovation turning. You're right that Toyota's trucks aren't their main moneymakers and Toyota is literally the poorer by millions of dollars every year for having that view.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      It won't hurt Ram, I mean truck buyers tend to be loyal. Although as one commenter posted below Fred Diaz knows what to do, Nissan was wise to snatch him away from Ram just shows how valuable his knowledge will be to them from a successful truck operation. If Toyota was wise I would try to get a successful executive from the truck game, they have plenty of cash they just need a bit of direction.
      Carpinions
      • 1 Year Ago
      Alright, 4 announcements like this in the span of about a month make me think this is the new en vogue marketing activity for manufacturers in the truck space. Current tally has Ram, then Nissan, then GM, and now Toyota. At this rate, I predict within 24 hours Ford will announce something similar.
      caddy-v
      • 1 Year Ago
      Better beef up that flimsy three piece frame or the diesel torque will twist it like a pretzel. And good God is that truck ugly. Who designs these monstrosities, Stevie Wonder?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        owen brown
        • 1 Year Ago
        Personally I think you get a natural high off all the BS you write on Autoblog.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        Take a Tundra (or Titan) and put it next to a Ram 1500. Start showing me what the Ram can do the others can't. Andddd, go.
          Jesus!
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jtav2002
          Its what one can do better than the other. Ram whoops it. Tundra is a hasbeen and they know it.
      David
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's funny to see all the diesel talk now that Nissan raised the bar with its announcement of the Cummins V8 in its next truck. There's no way the other manufacturers can stand by and hope to compete without a diesel in their light trucks. Ram may have beaten them all to the punch with their announcement a while back, but even their V6 diesel is looking pretty lame compared to the Titan's Cummins V8. And if Toyota uses it, too, then Ram will be scrambling. Wonder what the GM camp is thinking right about now?
        Carpinions
        • 1 Year Ago
        @David
        while Nissan has raised eyebrows with good timing, they have yet to produce. Nissan is my favorite Japanese auto maker, but I make no qualms about the fact that they've let the Titan languish for 5 years too long, on top of their very early-on rear diff problems, something that is so central to truck operation it's amazing it even happened. Similarly, if Nissan blows its wad by upping the talk but stumbling over every crack in the sidewalk, then they'll never be a serious contender. So far only Ram is credible because they've actually committed to a half-ton diesel that will appear in a few months time, and a diesel they already have roaming streets in other brand-related vehicles. GM has responded by at least announcing a Duramax 4-cylinder diesel for its new mid/small-size pickups, but until it's being sold here, it too is vaporware.
        MJC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @David
        The RAM engine is entirely different. It's for HD trucks and has 2x the torque of the light-duty V8 that's going in the Titan.
        Ross
        • 1 Year Ago
        @David
        hmm..."raised the bar"- simply based on an announcement?..I didn't know it was that easy. Lets give it some time for Nissan to deliver the product and see how it stacks up with the Ram and other products that may be available at that time, before we assume a runaway victory based on assumptions and speculation.
      stonehunte
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about the throwing the hilux diesel with a six speed manual option in the tacoma? If I could get that in a crew cab 4x4, I'd buy one tomorrow.
      Walt
      • 1 Year Ago
      A desperate last ditch attempt to restore relevance for trucks that have failed in the marketplace.
        mitytitywhitey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Walt
        Any full-size truck sold has a huge profit margin. I don't know why autobloggers think it has to beat other truck sales numbers to be worth it. Like somehow only Ford makes money on these because they are #1? BS.
          Walt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mitytitywhitey
          If Toyota is making a huge profit on the Tundra, they would have invested more into the redesign. They didn't, and it shows.
      Mike
      • 1 Year Ago
      All you Dodge haters...and we have a big-time line waiting to put Cummins diesels in their rigs. LOL!! Dodge doesn't dominate the truck pulls for nothing!!
      imoore
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like Toyota is finally starting to man up with a diesel option. But they should have been using a Hino unit in the first place. We'll see how this turns out.
        Carpinions
        • 1 Year Ago
        @imoore
        Maybe, but are Toyota/Hino trucks used to any large degree in the US? It might be too costly for them to pull off because if they have no Hino infrastructure here, they'll get a reputation as having the most expensive diesel to maintain because parts have to be shipped overseas, and lose sales. I honestly don't know if Toyota/Hino trucks are or are not used here, just posing a scenario. The Cummins name may be preferable since it's homegrown and has instant recognition for its market.
          Chris Zeidler
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Carpinions
          Hino has a plant in Michigan.
          onewayroll
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Carpinions
          Can't speak for you guys south of the border, but I'm seeing plenty of Hino trucks around here. More and more so in the last few years.
      Really
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nissan and Toyota are niche truck suppliers whether they like it or not. That being said I think offering just a big V8 big is just dumb, that customer will almost always buy a Ford, Checy or Ram. They should offer the 4 cylinder diesel like the one Nissan had been testing with Cummins. Makes soo much more sense since their custmer is more likely to be in tune with this powerplant. I for one would love a 35MPG 1/2 ton.
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