Holy Hyperbole! Bloomberg Report Says Toyota Tundra 'Takes Texas' and 'Destroys' Detroit Three Bastion in the Lone Star State
By: Mike Levine Posted: 01-10-08 19:32 PT
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Hudson: That's it man, game over man, game over! What the **** are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

Burke: Maybe we could build a fire, sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don't we try that?

- Aliens (1986)

I've just read an amazing report off Bloomberg's wires titled, 'Toyota Tundra Takes Texas, Destroys Detroit Bastion'. Yes, that's really the title. If you haven't read it yet, you should.

Before I proceed further, let me make my humble opinions known.

Toyota missed its oft-quoted sales goal to sell 200,000 Tundras in 2007 by only 3,445 trucks, or 1.7 percent. As far as I'm concerned, Toyota may not have hit a grand slam but they still hit an inside-the-park home run.

Tundra sales grew by an astounding 57.4 percent last year over 2006, while every other full size truck manufacturer lost volume in 2007. The #1 selling Ford F-Series saw its sales fall 13.2 percent. And I'm convinced that the Tundra half-ton (the only Tundra model available) is the number four best selling light duty pickup in the country, ahead of the GMC Sierra 1500.

But (and you knew there was a but coming) Bloomberg's headline takes Tundra hyperbole to a whole new level.

The Bloomberg article looks closely at Texas, the country's strongest market for pickup sales.

From the Bloomberg story:

"Ford's F-Series fell to 31.9 percent of the Texas market through Sept. 30, down 5.5 percentage points from a year earlier, while Silverado was little changed at 26.7 percent and Ram rose 1.4 points to 19.8 percent, according to Southfield, Michigan-based R.L. Polk. Nissan's Titan slipped to 2.9 percent from 3.1 percent. The Tundra rose to 8.4 percent from 4.7 percent."

That's a tremendous showing for Toyota - a 79 percent increase in Tundra's Texas year-over-year sales - but from a fourth grade math perspective, how does 8.4 percent market share versus 78.4 percent cumulative for Chevy, Dodge, and Ford become equal to 'Taking Texas' and 'Destroying Detroit's Bastion'?

And, I'm assuming the missing 10.3 percent in Bloomberg's numbers belongs to GMC and Lincoln (rounding error for that brand, likely). So, that would actually put domestic market share even higher in Texas, at 88.7 percent versus 8.4 percent.

I'm sorry, but this headline doesn't add up. I agree that Toyota has bruised the Detroit Three, especially Ford, but it's not game over for the domestics, yet. They've got a clear warning that Toyota is in the game for good and it's no holds barred. From now on it's only going to get tougher in this segment.

(BTW, the Bloomberg story does do a nice job summarizing the challenges facing the industry overall)

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