A new report out of Australia suggests that there is a top secret plan to introduce a right-hand drive production line for the Toyota Tundra. This decision is said to be currently under study due to some interest for this product throughout the global market.
According to Drive, the plan in particular is to introduce the Toyota Tundra to the Australian market so it can compete with Ram and Chevrolet. This also comes after the region saw a sales record for full-size V8 American pick-ups.
Currently, the Toyota Tundra is a North American exclusive product and thus, only made in left-hand drive. The publication notes that independent importers have privately converted products to right-hand drive but with that comes quality issues as the job is not done to factory-spec.
During the opening of the brand’s technology centre in the outer Melbourne suburb of Altona at the former Toyota Camry factory, representatives revealed that the site could soon become an official conversion factory for the latest Toyota Tundra bakkie.
“We don’t have plans to do left- to right-hand-drive (conversions on site),” said Toyota Australia’s head of product planning, Rod Ferguson. “In fact, we don’t actually have that capability, but we are definitely looking at what other things we can utilise.”
When asked if the Toyota Tundra had been ruled out for Australia, either as a factory-built right-hand-drive vehicle or a locally-converted product, the senior Toyota Australia executive said “We haven’t ruled it out. We’ve been on record many times for saying that … we are very interested in that market. If we are ever able to find a way or a business case to bring that product to Australia, then we’ll try to pursue that. But at the moment, we don’t have the answer around that.”
When asked if Toyota Australia could establish its own local conversion facility or appoint a third-party, the senior Toyota Australia executive said “Purely in this facility, we don’t, and within our capability, we don’t. The only way we would ever achieve something like that would be through some sort of a partnership or arrangement.”
When asked for further clarification on the likelihood of the new generation Toyota Tundra coming to Australia, a statement from Toyota after the media briefing said “We continue to study the Tundra as a possible future model of interest to introduce to the Australian market. If we are able to make a business case to introduce the Tundra in Australia, Toyota will make announcements in due course.”