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Toyota Pickup Information & History

The Toyota Truck is a compact economy pickup truck. A full sized version (T100 and Tundra) are available in the North American market.

The Toyota pickup truck first appeared in the United States in 1964 under the name of "Stout." The strange, utilitarian little truck wasn't a very fast seller. In 1969, Toyota improved the truck and renamed it the "Hi-Lux." In the 1970s, inflation and a strong US dollar combined to make the Hi-Lux a popular choice. When the first Arab Oil Embargo was imposed, consumers realized that the little truck could get TWICE the fuel mileage (17 mpg estimated) of one of its bigger rivals, the Ford F-250 (8 mpg estimated).

By the mid-1980s, the United States was licking its economic wounds from two Arab oil embargoes, the runaway stagflation of the 1970s, and a recession. The sames pressures which were merely squeezing the American economy were crushing Detroit and the Big 3 automakers Ford, Chrysler (now DaimlerChrysler), and GM. The Big 3 had an additional burden of being poorly positioned in their product marketing mix (very few economy cars) and faced skyrocketing labor costs. Chrysler's Lee Iacocca had just finished begging Congress for loan guarantees to bail out the failing Chrysler corporation. The Big 3 along with the United Auto Workers union lobbied Congress to slap an import tariff on all imported pickup trucks entering the United States. This move was a direct attack on Toyota and to a lesser extent on Datsun (now called Nissan).

The Big 3 saw this as a way to eliminate a competitor which was doing a superior job of competing. The UAW saw this as a way to protect union jobs from cheaper foreign labor. The politicians saw this as a way to get votes from blue collar workers and to bolster the flagging economy at the same time. The only people hurt would be Toyota and the consumers who purchased their products. The net result was that the cost of importing a truck from Japan became so high that Toyota was no longer in a good position to compete.

To address this concern, Toyota formed a joint venture with General Motors (GM) in 1984 to build Toyota products in the US, for sale to the US market, using unionized UAW labor. The venture was named New United Motors Manufacturing, Inc. or "NUMMI" (pronounced NUMI) for short. They first plant was built in Fremont, California just miles away from a recently closed Ford assembly plant in Milpitas, California.

At the new plant, they built the US version of the Hi-Lux pickup, Geo (Chevrolet) products, and a US version of the Toyota Corolla.

By the mid 1970s, it was clear that the popularity of 4 wheel drive vehicles was more than just a passing fad. In 1978, Toyota began selling a 4x4 version of its popular Hi-Lux pickup truck in the US and Canada. Sales were swift.

From 1984 to 1995, Toyota sold the Pickup. No fancy names, they just called it the "Pickup". (In most Non-US countries, it retained the Hi-Lux name, however..) 2 wheel drive and 4 wheel drive were both available. The standard engine was a 4-cylinder, but in 4X4 SR5 models, a 3.0L V6 was optional. Minor body stylings like a third brake light and different mirrors constituted restylings in the early 1990s. The Pickup was sold until 1995.

The Toyota Hi-Lux has been noted for its reputation of failing to break down, even during sustained heavy use. This was only compounded when on the third (programme five) series of the revamped BBC motoring show Top Gear, when a 13-year old Toyota Hi-Lux was subjected to a number of extraordinary survival tests, which included driving it into a tree, tying it up to a jetty and letting it be washed out to sea by the incoming tide, dropping a caravan on it, setting the cabin on fire, and placing it at the top of 240-foot block of flats that was subsequently destroyed. Amazingly, allthough it was now suffering from severe structural damage (there was already significant body corrosion when it was purchased) and fire damage, the pickup truck was still running after being repaired only with typical tools and equipment that would be found in a car's toolbox, like spanners, motor oil and a monkey wrench. These Trucks have also been known to clock up 300,000+ miles without skipping a beat,IF taken care of properly. ( Changeing oil every 3,000-10,000 miles, brake checks, etc.)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from articles at Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

Most Popular Parts For Toyota Pickup

1989 - 1995 Toyota Pickup Cylinder Head Gasket
Brand: Ishino

 Part # A8010-35687

Year Range: 1989 - 1995
Model: Pickup (4 Cyl.)
Application: Cylinder Head Gasket
Notes: (22R,22RE) Std.

Category: Toyota Cylinder Head

1989 - 1995 Toyota Pickup Air Filter

 Part # B1000-33997

Year Range: 1989 - 1995
Model: Pickup (4 Cyl.)
Application: Air Filter

Category: Toyota Filters

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