Funny how Toyota and Nissan are both looking at American made diesels.
Toyota will consider diesels made by supplier
By RICHARD TRUETT | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
AutoWeek | Published 09/18/06, 11:24 am et
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Could Toyota break with 50 years of business practices and go outside the company for an engine?
It's not out of the question for the diesel engine being planned for the new generation of Toyota's Tundra pickup. Production of that vehicle begins next month, but Toyota has not said when a diesel option might be offered.
"We realize that to be a true truck company, it's important to develop a diesel," said Gary Convis, Toyota's executive vice president of engineering and manufacturing for North America. He spoke Sept. 8 at the groundbreaking ceremonies for Toyota's new North American Technical Center, scheduled to open in 2008.
Convis said that more than likely, Toyota will develop its own diesel or lean on its heavy-duty commercial-truck division, Hino, for diesel technology.
But Convis says Toyota has not ruled out buying one from an established supplier.
If Toyota does buy a diesel from a supplier, it would be the first time in the company's 50-year U.S. history that one of its vehicles would use a non-Toyota engine.
Possible U.S.-based diesel-engine suppliers could include Detroit Diesel Inc., John Deere & Co., Caterpillar Inc., Cummins Inc. and International Truck & Engine Corp.
Cummins and International already supply engines to automakers. Cummins builds the 5.9-liter turbocharged diesel in the Dodge Ram and has announced a new deal with an automaker for two more diesels, a V-6 and a V-8 that will be launched in 2010. Cummins has not named the automaker, but DaimlerChrysler is likely to be the customer.
International builds the Ford Power Stroke diesel and is well into negotiations with Nissan to supply a diesel V-8 for the Titan pickup.
Toyota will need a diesel for the Tundra not only because consumers are demanding better fuel economy but also because Ford, GM and Dodge are planning to use small-displacement diesels in light-duty trucks around 2010.
Convis says the Tundra launch late next month in San Antonio will be kept deliberately slow while Toyota officials keep an eye on quality. The truck will be built in a new factory and with a new engine. The first trucks will show up at dealerships before the end of the year, Convis said.
Without giving a number, Convis said the Tundra launch will be the biggest and most expensive in Toyota history. Toyota hopes to double sales of the Tundra to about 250,000 units a year.