Easy answer, RECESSION. Folks loosing their jobs and nobody buying new cars.
Yes, but a lot of it is dumb stuff like building a plant for a huge pickup truck that isn't as capable as its competitors, but burns more gas just looking "tough." And finishing the plant mere months before gas prices shot to $4/gallon.
Beg you pardon?
I'd say they put a TON of money into the Texas government and community when building that plant.
IF they can keep it open long enough for all the tax subsidies to expire, then MAYBE it will turn out good for us Texas taxpayers. That's a big "if" and a bigger "maybe."
Isn't as capable as it's competitors you say?
Yes I do say that. Its an urban/suburban status truck. There's no 3/4 ton. There's no diesel. I have yet to see one hauling a cattle trailer or bales of hay. I'm sure its GREAT for hauling 2x4s (short ones, anyway) back to the ol' condo from Home Depot.
AND i might ad, did it with BEST mpg out of them all as well.
Looking at MY 2008 data, all of the trucks get within a couple of MPG of each other when comparably equipped. You canna change the laws of physics, after all. But there is a small difference and the Tundra has the lowest EPA highway rating of them all, and that's even comparing against Ford and Chevy with 4-speed transmissions vice the Toy's 6-speed (score another one for simplicity). And what's more, even the 6.2L Chevy beats it on highway mileage. In fact the ONLY number it wins is city mileage against the 5.7L 2008 Ram (by 1 mpg, and with the improvements the 09 Ram got, it'll win that too).
But really, all that's beside my point, which was that Toyota made a big mistake by introducing a luxury/status truck AND the entire infrastructure to make it just as fuel prices spiked. Work trucks are semi-immune to changes in fuel cost because the jobs HAVE to be done. Even if diesel goes to $9/gallon, there will be a demand for Ram 1500CTDs and F250 Powerstrokes because the job has to be done no matter what. But people that make the weekend run to Home Depot will quickly stop buying leather-seat crew cabs with 6' shorty beds and soft-riding passenger-car tires. Any criticism of the type of vehicle itself can obviously also be levelled at the Chevy Avalanche and its Escalade twin... however GM built them on an existing platform in existing plants-minimal cost. They didn't enter a new market and set up an entirely new plant and all the infrastructure for a one-model product line that is also unusually vulnerable to fuel prices the way Toyota did.
Another fact for you. MY tundra 4x4 gets 19-20 mpg hiway, and 15/16 around town. And you say they burn more fuel? I'd say that's [censored] good mileage for a 400 hp 6k lb truck.
I'm glad you like it and it works for you. But if I want 400 horsepower, I'll go buy a Challenger SRT-8 and play with it. I see no need whatsoever for a 400-horsepower gasoline truck. (I see no need for a half-ton truck to weigh 6000 lbs either, but all of them now do for some reason). I do see a need for a 600+ ft-lb / ~300 horsepower diesel truck, and the other 3 brands have those.