Despite a growing demand for compact bakkies, Toyota appears to be holding back on the idea of producing a smaller bakkie for the United States market.
This news comes after earlier reports suggested that Toyota was considering leveraging the Corolla’s platform to create a more utilitarian vehicle that we call a bakkie on this side of the Atlantic.
Toyota has a strong history in the compact pickup truck segment, known for its quality, durability, and reliability. However, the automaker has been absent from this segment for some time now, leaving dealers eager for a compact bakkie option. According to an Automotive News report, Toyota dealers have expressed their desire for a smaller bakkie. Such a vehicle, potentially equipped with a hybrid powertrain, could contribute to improving the overall fuel economy of Toyota’s fleet.
When asked about the possibility of a small bakkie, David Christ, Toyota Motor North America’s Group Vice President and General Manager, stated, “We don’t have anything planned.” He emphasized that there were no imminent announcements to dealers and avoided any suggestion that such a vehicle might be in the works.
Christ did acknowledge that Toyota has been closely observing the success of Ford’s Maverick, a small bakkie that has gained significant popularity. The Maverick has proven to be a strong competitor, attracting customers from other brands. Notably, 60% of Maverick buyers are coming from outside of Ford, with the Toyota RAV4 being one of the top vehicles traded in for a Maverick.
While Toyota has not confirmed any plans for a smaller bakkie, it’s clear that they are keeping a watchful eye on the market and the competition. The potential for a compact bakkie from Toyota, possibly sharing components and a hybrid powertrain with the Corolla Cross, remains uncertain but not entirely ruled out. For now, Toyota enthusiasts and dealers will have to wait for any official announcements regarding the future of a smaller bakkie in their lineup.