Truck-Based SUVs Still Remain a Player for Toyota

Toyota 4Runner

Though crossover SUVs — smaller utility vehicles that combine the usefulness and practicality of an SUV with the fuel efficiency of a station wagon — have become a recent cash cow for the automotive industry, Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) is still intent on producing its bigger, truck-based SUVs, as the company insists that there is sufficient demand for them.

Despite some overlap in size among the 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser, the truck-based SUVs have distinct buyer bases that warrant keeping them in the lineup, Motoharu Araya, executive chief engineer for Toyota’s global truck and SUV lines, told Automotive News.

“There are multiple customers for us,” Araya said. “Some want to drive off-road, some want to tow with their families, and some want to commute. Towing and durability are very difficult with a monocoque vehicle.”