5.6. Customizing the Tundra for the United States

The full-size Tundra was targeted to the "true trucker" segment in the United States. This is not the average owner of a pickup truck. True truckers demand the most from their vehicle because they depend on it daily for work. These drivers are the real opinion leaders among full-size truck owners. Toyota knew that if true truckers bought the Tundra, the others would follow, but first they had to find out what true truckers were, by exploring their hobbies and general areas of interest, such as hunting and fishing, country music, NASCAR races, ranching, and construction. Then they had to convince them to switch from whatever model they were driving to the Tundra. The Big Three Detroit automakers still had a tight grip on the trucker segment, forcing the underdog Toyota to innovate in the extreme.

The Tundra was launched as "the all-new, built-in-America Toyota truck," but as former Scion head Jim Farley pointed out: "It wasn't just the launch of a new product. We were entering a new market, with new customers—it was about a whole new way of doing business."[] To prove that the full-size Tundra was all new, Toyota created a nationwide test-drive program called "Tundra Prove It!" It showcased the truck at 350 trucker-type events over 10 months, offering drivers the chance to get behind the wheel and run the Tundra through the roughest and toughest of road tests, on off-road trails, and in acceleration runs, braking exercises, and ...

Get Extreme Toyota: Radical Contradictions That Drive Success at the World's Best Manufacturer now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.