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March 16, 2014

Toyota Tundra wears grit on new fenders

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“As the Tundra becomes more mature, more and more truck enthusiasts are starting to notice it for its quality and utility,” affirmed Ryan Horgan, director of operations at Rockingham Toyota Scion Honda in Salem, N.H.

Toyota introduced the Tundra almost 15 years ago, in June, 1999, as a year-2000 model. That makes it a mere babe in the American pickup market. Other vehicle companies, especially Ford and General Motors, have been at it for closer to a century. In some cases, enthusiasm for one or the other brand is passed down father to son through generations. That’s part of the reason why the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado pickups are two of the top-selling vehicles on the planet.

To break in where brand preferences run so strong, Toyota recognizes that it must make a pickup that delivers all the tough, rough-and-ready qualities that drivers demand. This year, Toyota gave its model a new shape to advertise its inner grit and gumption. The 2014 Tundra rides in a redesigned body that is more angular, upright and chiseled than last year’s version. The front end expresses power boldly, as a tall, vertical surface spanned by a wide, prominently outlined grille. The fenders and wheel wells on the 2014 model are more squared off than rounded, to emphasize strength and stability. Toyota says the new design expresses an “industrial image.” It describes the truck’s shape and exterior details as “tool-like.”

The changes are sinking the hooks deeper into drivers who have already been won by Tundra, reported Horgan of Rockingham Toyota.

“The Tundra has already built a loyal ownership base, and the new model is certainly sparking their interest,” he said. “We have seen a large number of previous owners looking to trade in their old Tundra for the new model.”

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