Toyota A-BAT Concept - Click above for a high-res image gallery
Bob Carter, Toyota Motor Sales USA's vice president and general manager, told our man Mike Levine from PickupTrucks.com that the Toyota A-BAT is on indefinite hold. According to Carter, "We have a lot of top priorities right now, and A-BAT isn't one of them."
Although news of the A-BAT's imminent arrival was circulating as early as February, Toyota's decision to put the project on hold doesn't come as a surprise. With auto sales down overall – and pick-ups being hit particularly hard in the last year – the business case for a compact, hybrid truck would be hard to justify.
Originally, it was assumed the A-BAT would be sold as a Scion, but with the "youth" brand's renewed focus on smaller vehicles (ala the Scion iQ concept that debuted at the New York Auto Show), a pick-up would be in stark contrast to the rest of the line-up.
"The market has changed dramatically over the last 12 months." Carter told Pickuptrucks.com, "We always keep reprioritizing – under good economic or recessionary times – what our planning is. [For now, the A-BAT is] on the shelf."