Q&A with Mike Sweers, Toyota Chief Engineer for Tundra and Tacoma

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At the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, we were able to jump into a group of reporters interviewing Mike Sweers, Toyota’s Chief Engineer. Here is what we were able to capture.

Q&A with Mike Sweers, Toyota Chief Engineer Tundra

The 2014 Toyota Tundra reveal in Chicago. Standing at the right is Toyota’s Chief Engineer Mike Sweers.

Mr. Sweers grew up in Michigan on a farm using trucks and has been around them all his life. It is interesting how bright and young he is compared with the much older faces that GM, Ford and Dodge seem to have. This Q&A is quite long, but a great read.

Q: (Other reporter) What’s your take on Nissan saying sales are moving more towards fleet and away from consumer?
We really don’t play in the fleet market and we base most of our sales on retail sales and satisfying that retail customer. I believe that side of the market will improve because there is a lot of pent up demand. We are even seeing that in the retail market, people have held onto trucks longer than they have. We are already seeing that, last month truck sales were up 30 percent.

We believe that 1.8 million (units) sold in the half-ton market isn’t unreasonable. Were comfortable with that, we would like to increase our market share, but quite honestly we are limited by capacity. If we can keep the plant at 100% capacity and have the best truck on the market, we will be satisfied.

Q: (responds to questioning about ¾ ton and why if it doesn’t affect CAFÉ standards, why doesn’t Toyota build them)
Quite honestly, we don’t have the capacity to build more trucks. The truck capacity in San Antonio is 250,000 at full capacity. I would love to have more capacity, it is a good problem to have (laughter). But, it allows us to really focus on satisfying our customers. We aren’t trying to be everything to everybody. If you look some of our styling especially on premium grades, it is polarizing. It is a love/hate that is by design. The person who likes the Platinum doesn’t like the 1794.

Q: Could we be looking at a Hybrid?
I can’t speak to future powertrain.

Q: You did sign an agreement with Ford, would you have to adjust the chassis?
Again, I can’t speak to future powertrains, but we might have something.

Q: Mike, are the rust issues done with this truck?
The rust issues were a supplier issue and yes, we have a different supplier. And we have increased the overall corrosion to what we believe is the best from a durability stand point. Again, we had a supplier quality issue, unfortunately. We caught the issue and it has been fixed.

And I have to say, I think, when you look at what Toyota has done, when we found out we had corrosion issues, we made sure we satisfied customers. Again, durability is one of our foundations, we went back and made sure those customers were satisfied by either replacing frames or replacing trucks. It’s an unfortunate situation. We try to make sure we are good partners with our suppliers and support our supplies, but in this case we had an unfortunate situation.

Q: (other reporter and I “discussing” past rust issues, I bring up the bed bolt rust)
On the bed bolt rust issue, we had the same corrosion everybody else did. We changed the coating on our bolts to a 20-year protection cast corrosion treatment.

Part of the corrosion especially with fasteners is with the elimination of the heavy metals. We can’t use Chromate anymore which was the main corrosion element in fasteners.

Q: What’s your take on the bed bounce issue; do you think this truck rides better? 
The choppy ride in itself, yes it does. We made some improvements. We tuned the suspension. Is our choppy ride completely gone? No it is natural part of a truck. Our competitors have a choppy ride as well.

Q. How does the ride compare to competitors?
I think this truck is better than maybe the #1 selling truck. They changed their calibration and tuned suspension. Not sure why they did, but they did. We added other features like the Aero-Fins stabilizers (located on rear tail light and mirrors). They don’t look like much, but they are really quite surprising. They are just these little small wings that are on there. They look great in the wind tunnel. But, when you actually put them on and start driving more than 45mph you really start noticing.

What it does is it creates turbulence alongside the truck and it helps with straight line stability of the truck itself. The air is pushing and instead of becoming detached from the truck, it is pulling air alongside the truck and it helps stabilize the front. The ones on the back creates a downdraft which helps with the choppy ride as well.

Q: On the hood raise did you have to compact anything or was that for cosmetics?
Purely cosmetics.

Q: Have you changed the rear-end at all? (Limited Slip)
No, we have not changed the limited slip at all. We have done a lot of driving of other trucks. Quite honestly, you’d be surprised what this truck can do. When you talk about changing rear-end I have a 10.5 axle on it, that’s what our competitors have on their ¾ and 1-ton trucks. That helps with that SAE J2807 standard and gives us that durability that we are trying to promote.

Q: (Another reporter question) Other truck manufactures aren’t up to SAE J2807 standard yet?
It’s a mystery to us. All major OEM’s participated in creating that standard. If you look at any manufacture in North America and some of the foreign producers all participating in the writing in that standard. But, we are the only ones since 2007 that complied with the standard.

I can speculate why that is. I can’t tell you why they are trying to create their own standard.

When we adapted the standard our towing went down a few hundred pounds. With this truck, we got that back. Our speculation is that the other players in the market will go down a lot more than just a few hundred pounds.

Our goal is to make sure we are really satisfying the customer and we are giving the customer what we say we are giving them. So, they walk away satisfied.

I don’t have a lot of complaints about you promised me this fuel economy and I’m getting this fuel economy. We focus on combined fuel economy. When we market our vehicles, test our vehicles, certify our vehicles, we are always talking real-world fuel economy. We are probably under-promising and over delivering. But, a lot of our customers do the opposite. Their focus is on highway. Well, if you only drive highway and EPA cycle then fabulous you can probably hit that. But, what we are seeing in the market right now is a lot of complaints especially with a lot of these smaller displacement engines. You promised me this and I am not getting that at all. You promised me 21 and I’m getting 15. There is a big difference there and I paid a $1,000 more for this engine.

We want to make sure that we are actually delivering what we are promising. That is one of the reasons we focused on the new towing standard. When the customer hooks us up and they read through our owner’s manual, its not like well you said I was going to tow 11,100, but by the time I make all the deductions I have to make, I’m only towing 7,100. When you read our brochure, we say here are your deductions and we say you can tow this amount, you can tow this amount.

You don’t have to sit there and do a lot of fuzzy math to get there.

Q: (on why no engine change)
People ask us why don’t you change your engine. We have a fabulous engine, truly fabulous. It has all the power that you need.

(Also, he alludes to the engine and transmission durability when completing J2807 testing). Frankly, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Q: What’s your take on the new aerodynamic items? Like Ram’s Active Grille Shutters or Ford’s Active Wheel Shutters?
The wheel shutters are a great, nifty concept. On a truck, I don’t know how you make those things work. The first time, I take that off-road and get in the mud, I would love to see those things close.

Yes, there are a lot of things we could do on a truck to improve aerodynamics. Trucks are a little bit difficult. You have a certain amount of coefficient drag you will have with a large vehicle you are taking down the road. Ram really has put some unique technology in there. I won’t say any of it is that new. But, they have gone ahead and offered the package. There difficulty is return on investment. Everybody including us have tried high-fuel economy vehicle packages and offered them to customers, but none of them has ever succeeded. They haven’t lasted long enough. Ram has done that, but is somebody on a V-6 truck willing pay extra on that truck to get a few more miles per gallon.

Truck customers are very conservative and detail oriented. They are looking for return on investment. If you are going to charge me x amount of money, I expect this amount of return. That’s what we are finding. We are struggling with how much do you put into it and how much is the customer willing to pay. Active grille shutters are not cheap. That air suspension is a great, great image for it, but it’s not cheap. Personally, we have looked into them and we are a little concerned with the durability of them especially when you get into an off-road situation.

But, some of the other treatment it is responsible and we have some of that on our front end. But, again how to meet the customer’s requirements when you start trying to lower that truck down and you lose that approach and departure angles. How do you meet the customer’s real requests for the truck without taking that type of stuff off when you are really taxing the truck in a non-highway situation.

Quick translation: the aerodynamic front ends of say the new GM twins could easily tear off when off-road. How is that meeting the customer’s requirements for durability?

Q: How nervous were you with the Tundra Endeavour Project?
Not at all, we tested it twice. I knew it was going to work (laughter).

Q: (other reporter) That picture with the drive-shaft turning that is the most of truth isn’t it?
That is the moment of truth. Quite honestly, at our first test, we had cameras down there. When you see the prop shaft come up and you see the transmission come up. Can the truck pull it? Yep, we had enough power to tow it. The universal joint though that got a little bit of the heart pumping for me.

Q: Just getting it started, isn’t that the big thing?
We pulled 300,000lbs in testing. Yeah, getting that load started and breaking that rolling resistance on the tires of that tow and the trailer vehicles, it takes quite a bit.

Q: (other reporter) On the integrated trailer brake, have you adjusted your E over H (deals with boat trailers with electric brakes)?
No, we have not. We only gone with electrical brakes on that. The problem is depending on the trailer, we have a hard time trying to handle that hydraulic system because each manufacture has a little bit different (setup).

Electric brakes are a different animal because there are essentially three manufactures. Hydraulic, we don’t have the same consistency. But, from the electric brakes stand point, we have tested ours and we are working with a company to make sure ours is tied into the vehicle properly. We don’t have any unsettling situations. It has taken us a little longer to get there. But, again, we want to make sure that our system works, works 100% of the time and is save for our customers always.

I have personally driven all the aftermarket systems both the correct loaded condition and offset loading to create sway and the overloaded condition because to be quite honest, truck customers overload their trucks. All the time.

Q: Right because nobody looks at that manual before they tow?
No. (laughter)

Q: And because everybody is 150lbs driving that truck (like the “other guys towing rating)?
Exactly (laughter).

Q: Did you guys go back into your workshop and redo your math numbers to get more towing numbers like the other guys magically do?
Actually, the recalculation of margin we didn’t do. We did increase our towing numbers, we didn’t go back and recalculate our margin. Recalculation of margin is a great term that used to change your brochure.

Q: We call it fuzzy math because all of sudden the new truck comes out and it can tow a lot more.
It is a little interesting and that is why the J2807 exists. It supposed to fix that issue, but if people aren’t participating in it, it has no meaning.

Q: (other reporter) It’s all voluntary? It’s not federally mandated?
Quite honestly, when you start talking about customer safety, it is important. Because you do have people overloading their vehicles and understanding truly what I can tow.

Again, do they go through their owner’s manual and saying I have to take this deduction. No, they are thinking in the brochure or commercial I can tow 11,100. And I can guarantee that if you put 11,100 behind some of those vehicles, it would be concerning.

What do you think? Insightful or full of spin?

 

Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com

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  1. Tim – Fantastic coverage sir. Great job.

  2. […] Without actually saying it, he called other manufacturers liars. Love it! …and how true it is! Q&A with Mike Sweers, Toyota Chief Engineer for Tundra and Tacoma | Tundra Headquarters Blog __________________ 2012 Tundra CM TRD 4×4 in my […]

  3. ricqik says:

    honesty means alot more than ford magical spring dust

  4. ALVARO says:

    Please the next . . . Tundra Diesel HD powered by Hino

    • Alvaro,

      I don’t see it happening. There are SOOoo many issues: EPA regulations, capacity to built it, market share expectations, etc…

      -Tim

      • kreiten says:

        are the Hino motors not already epa tested???

        • Kreiten,

          Yep, they are. However, they are large Class 5 trucks. Bringing that technology and cost (emissions equipment) down to a 1/2 truck isn’t cheap. Right now, Toyota doesn’t see it as a good cost/benefit.

          -Tim

          • kreiten says:

            thanks for the info, that’s kinda what I figured the case was, just kinda sad, I’ve always been a Toyota guy and I do think they build the best trucks out there.. But the thing I love about Toyota is how conservative they are, and the thing I don’t like about Toyota is how conservative they are, hope that makes sense…. Sometimes you can put some R&D into a vehicle to make a brand statement, like the LFA, they put a ton of cash into that, and sell each one at a loss, but it gives Lexus some street cred and shows what they can do…. I realize that Toyota is running a business, but I think the next logical step is a 3/4 ton or maybe a true offroad addition etc….

          • Kreiten,

            Personally, I think there is a really big question that nobody is talking about: If you were CEO of Toyota, what would you do with the Tundra? Would you build a new plant to increase production to maybe increase market share? Do you want to build a 3/4 to 1-ton truck that could slightly increase your market share and profit, but would surely increase fleet sales which might cause a drop in your retail customer’s vehicles? Do you try and build an off-road machine like the Raptor that while cool does have its share of critics and durability concerns (see: Toyota keyword durability)? Taking the emotion out of it, as a businessman/woman, what do you do?

            While we may all want a 3/4 ton diesel Toyota Tundra – does that really make sense to Toyota’s business approach? That is the ultimate debate.

            -Tim

          • kreiten says:

            that’s a tough question, and it has so many grey area’s to it…. I think the simple answer is “NO”, it’s proly not a smart business move…. Now does that mean that it would not or could not work out to help Toyota is many ways, that’s the grey area IMO… I have no expertise and don’t really know much of the behind the scenes stuff in the auto industry, I have however been following the industry to 2 decades now and have owned 15 different Toyota trucks, Landcruiser and 4Runners… And I do understand that Toyota says they are happy with their sales were they are, and that the Tundra/Tacoma plant is pretty much at maximum capacity so if they sold more they would have to build another plant possbibly, which could be great thing if they had the numbers to do so…. I do belive there is a stigma in this country that does not believe that Toyota/Nissain can build real fullsize trucks, I think in 2007 when the new Tundra came out this questioned that theory atleast a bit, but I belive in the long run to break that stigma Toyota will have to offer more exciting trucks, have more concept trucks and possibly venture into some form of HD Tundra’s…. I belive you could actualy lose money on the interum on a 3/4 ton truck but boost overall sales due to the fact that your truck as a whole is taking more serious in the market place, i.e. you may sell more half tons if your a true player in the full size market(just my opinion) When Lexus built the LFA they knew they would loose money on that car, but the excitment it creates can sell other Lexus nameplates, and it allows them to be taken more serious as a manufacturer… As far as a true offroad additon of the Tundra, I think they could put something together, maybe not at the Raptor level, but close that could really stir up the market… Front and Rear lockers, maybe Go with minumal string lift kit, 33 inch tires, TRD supercharger etc…. once again it make not make them a ton of profit, but also would not cost much to put out…. jsut thinking outloud, and I do understand that most of these ideas are triggered by emotions more than just pure business sense, but I truly belive you can be both a conservative auto company, and still get a bit crazy once in awhile……

          • I think the short answer is that while many Toyota truck fans WANT a line-up that makes domestics take notice, Toyota wants a line-up that simply turns a profit (remember, they sell a TON of cars/vans and SUVs).

            -Tim

          • kreiten says:

            yah, I know that’s the reason they are number one in the world, they sell a lot of vehicles they appeal to the masses and keep things relativley simple and straight forward, and that in turns gives them great reliablitly and durablilty…. and I think this is why alot of us were somewhat let down by the recent Tundra release, we let our emottions get too envolved and we want the Ford and Chevy guys to take notice of the Tundra, but at the end of the day is all the really matters is they we get a product we are happy with…. And there’s always the aftermarket to hit up our rigs with after we buy them.. I am running the Old Man Emu springs with 35’s etc…

          • kreiten says:

            on my 2011 Tundra, and I love it…

  5. Mickey says:

    I did like what he stated about the other manufactures and why they don’t use the “J” standard. Love it. Very intresting.

    • kreiten says:

      when will the other company’s start using j2807, why would they all work together to create it if I understand that correctly and then not use it???

      • Kreiten,

        It’s a marketing ploy. They can’t claim to be have the best towing if they voluntarily decrease their numbers without spending millions on advertising to explain why. Because frankly, all the other guys will have to decrease their numbers if they used the J2807 standards.

        -Tim

        • kreiten says:

          it’s shocking to me that no one holds them to any standards when it comes to towing, the gobernment should step in and make J2807 or some other form regulation standard, it’s a safty hazard at some point and misleading to the public at the very least… I wish you would here more about the other companies won’t wanting to be honest about their numbers, consumers need an applese to apples comparison and also need to know what the vehicle they are buying can safely tow, not some inflated number just to be number one for the year…

          • What’s interesting is that I do believe the Federal Gov’t is the only way this gets enforced. HOWEVER, many truck guys don’t want anymore Gov’t regulations. So… you have a potential safety issue that is hard to gather public steam. Thus, nothing is happening.

            -Tim

          • kreiten says:

            I”m not huge on the government getting envolved in more regulations either, but it seems the numbers will just continue to inflate and mislead until they step and and get involved, it appears we already have a standard in the form of the J2807, so is all they would need to do is step in and say let’s start using it….

          • While you and I may be in agreement that it is a safety issue which the Federal Gov’t should mandate. The reality is that the auto industry is a big part of this economic turnaround and profits from trucks are keeping the “Big 3″ profitable (you could argue that Ford would be in serious trouble without pickup sales). This reality means that no politician is going to offer up any legislation that would impose an additional regulation on them right now.

            Now, they could develop legislation that phases it in after so many years like the CAFE standards, but I still don’t see it happening.

            -Tim

          • kreiten says:

            yah, I can see how the government would taken it a bit easy on the auto industry at this point…. And with fuel concerns the big issue right now, i can see how this may never change…..

  6. ricqik says:

    magic spring dust dont qualify for J2807..

  7. ricqik says:

    i would like one of these new ones but my ’00 wont quit on me..

  8. Mike P says:

    Although I’m a little disappointed like most people, I’m really happy they didn’t add more gears. This truck has such a wide powerband that I seriously doubt more gears would have resulted in better fuel economy.

  9. LandcruiserChewy says:

    I was really hoping for a Hyno diesel but I do understand the mindset that Toyota is taking. There are a few things on the Tundra that could be switched out to aftermarket, however, I highly doubt they are going to start putting Winch bumpers and air lockers on for the few of us that would actually drive it like a truck. I am pretty happy with the new release and will be making a trip to my local dealer to take a look once it is out. But next time, please, a Hyno diesel!

    • kreiten says:

      is there someone on here that could give technical answers as to why Toyota could not put a Hino diesel into the Tundra, or is it just that they may not belive there is a market for it???

      • Kreiten,

        I think the simplest answer is that they simply aren’t interested. Remember that the 1/2 market is changing and maybe we will see a diesel in 1/2 ton trucks coming back.

        I, for one, am excited to see the Chevy Cruze and Jeep Cherokee get a diesel. Look the more diesels that automakers start building could mean the less reluctant they are to avoid them.

        -Tim

        • kreiten says:

          while we are dreaming of diesels, I’d like to see the Landcruiser 70 series Landcruisers in the States, I know it will never happen, but a guy can hope

  10. LJC says:

    I don’t understand why the Tundra does not have an e-locker or true LSD. For Toyota to say that the Tundra is capable and overbuilt but not equip it with an e-locker or true LSD is a bit of a lie. Both the capability and overbuilt traits can be easily put to the limit if you get stuck. The brake applied LSD doesn’t take long to overheat. Is this a true trait of an overbuilt truck? How can a truck be called capable when it uses a brake applied LSD? Every truck enthusiast knows a capable truck needs all the traction it can offer. If it didn’t there wouldn’t be a market for it (Eaton, Auburn, etc.).

    The rear diff in the Tundra is comparable to the 3/4 and 1 ton rear end in GM, Ford and Dodge trucks, as Toyota claims. But these three all offer a locker or LSD. Hell, the Kia Soreto offers an Eaton Carbon Fiber Limited Slip Differential!

    To add fuel to the fire, the all mighty land conquering Land Cruiser no longer offers lockers.
    This does not make any sense, so I can’t help to think there may be a limitation with the design of the rear diff. It is a mystery to me.

    Oh, one more thing: how can Toyota offer an off road package (TRD and TRD Rock Crawler) without an e-Locker? That’s embarrassing!

    • LJC,

      I’m working on some follow-up questions and this is one of them.

      What I can tell you is that Sweers has tested in many different rock crawling applications. He simply states the truck performs really well.

      I wonder if Toyota doesn’t see it as a worthwhile addition that customers will pay for. They really have tried to keep their truck pricing down. Again, that isn’t a true answer just speculation.

      -Tim

      • LJC says:

        Thanks Tim.

        The TSC, while in 4×4, works pretty well, unless you get stuck. At that point, it get’s it the way.
        I found out last weekend in about 30 or more inches of snow–the front bumper can act as a snow plow, up to a certain point.
        I have pictures :)

        The TSC will depower, which makes using it very hard when stuck.
        When not engaged, I could get the truck rocking going between Drive and Reverse because throttle response is instant.
        When engaged, I could not do this because the delay in depowering the throttle made it next to impossible to synchronize the timing.
        Also, if used for too long, warning lights will be triggered–I found this out too.

        There are guys paying $900+ to get either an Auburn LSD or ARB locker setup–I may be one of them.
        An e-Locker/LSD on the GM, etc. is only an additional $400 or so when ordered from the factor.

        I don’t prefer an Auburn or ARB. I would rather pay an integrated solution (integrated with the VSC).

        I use the TSC, when in 2 wheel drive, to test the road condition.
        Last weekend it proved to be handy.
        While driving on the highway on what appeared to be bare pavement I tapped the go-go pedal.
        The TSC immediately kicked in. Well, it turns out there was black ice, when the temp did not rise above 16 degrees for the past 24 hours.

        Having an integrated e-Locker or LSD would be the icing on the cake for this truck.

        • LJC,

          First, definitely send pictures! We would love to see them.

          Secondly, I really don’t that much about LSD and e-Locker’s, but you are definitely making me brush up on the subject. :)

          -Tim

          • LJC says:

            I checked the owners manual and it states that when in 4WD and stuck, the TSC may have to be turned off so the vehicle can be rocked.

            Also, it didn’t seem to take much (just a few minutes) to get the system to malfunction (both the Slip Indicator light and ABS light were continuously on). I’m not sure if I was a little too heavy with the throttle to cause this.

          • LJC,

            FYI – Got the pics, thanks! I’m putting something up ASAP.

            -Tim

          • kreiten says:

            in the 90’s the FZJ80 Landcruiser had front and rear factory lockers, it was a beast, a true 4×4…. I know the FJCruiser and Tacoma still have factory rear lockers… I too am puzzeld as to why Toyota is going away from the manual lockers and using the high tech approach, which can work o.k. at times, but I also have had over heating issues in my newer Landcruiser etc… I have used the Tundra in pretty heavy snow etc.. it seemed to work pretty well so far, but I would feel way better if at times I could just turn off all of the electronics, throw the truck into 4Low and lock up the diffs, no computer works as well as that in the tough spots, imo…

          • Kreiten,

            While I will always agree with someone who wants a truck for a (wait for it…) TRUCK with manual control over items, the future sadly is not going that way at all. In fact, you could argue that we are going more and more toward a computer controlled everything.

            However, you do bring up a good point about the manual lockers. Like I have said, I really don’t know. I’m looking into it.

            -Tim

  11. kreiten says:

    in a perfect world we would have both, I would love to have the VSC and traction control for everyday driving and faster offroad driving, and then have the ability to put the truck in 4low, have all of the fancy stuff turn off, flip on front and rear lockers, and get through the rough stuff…

    • Larry says:

      Kreiten,

      The last thing I want is one of these beauty trucks out in the dirt with no manual controls and automatic systems which won’t lock up and get me out.

      Here is a real truck

      http://www.toyota.com.au/landc.....cab-chasis

      The world can get this but we in the US can’t because we need wheels with radio transmitters. A second set of wheels needs 4 transmitters. I find it more cost effective to put black electrical t tape over the light on the dash and they call these things trucks.

      There are just no real trucks in the market place for those of us who have the need for something basic. Modern trucks have taken the place of the 1960’s station wagon. They never haul anything because the nice wheels might get dirty.

      I will keep running my 1994 T100 until the wheels fall off. It’s not fast but it always works and does it while getting 19 MPG on an and 18 year old 150 HP V6. It might only last another 18 years.

      • kreiten says:

        Larry, I believe the Landcruiser 70 series to be the best vehicle on the planet, that are just beast, I love them, no frills, just straight utilitarian workhorses…. I want the troopie…. Have you seen the spring stakes on the 70 series pickup, they are massive!

  12. […] plant in Texas to build the diesel version or anything bigger than what we have now. See ref: Q&A with Mike Sweers, Toyota Chief Engineer for Tundra and Tacoma | Tundra Headquarters Blog __________________ MIDNIGHT RIDER THIS TRUCK CAN TAKE A HIT AND KEEP ON […]

  13. Rick says:

    Good interview! However, I predicted the outcome of this truck a year ago. Toyota appears not ready or unwilling to take on the top 3. We’ll see how it fares when it is released.

    All truck manufacturers, including Nissan, are making or have made big changes to their product. After 7 years, Toyota was overdue for too many things and then let some crucial opportunities pass them by such as direct injection.

    All the hangers on who insisted on a bigger bed, a diesel, a 3/4 ton version, etc. were met with a final version that I would be hard pressed not to assume Toyota hasn’t the cash to invest in. (Tsunami fallout)? We ended up with a lightly and in my opinion (from the pics only) and unattractively redesigned vehicle skin. I predicted the chunky, domestic outcome.

    Sweers’ half hearted response of a factory “limit of 250k vehicles” is frankly unconvincing. His dialog appears to defend the old technology in contrast to a guy who couldn’t wait to ‘tell ya all about it!’

    My 2012 is a great truck, inside and out. I was driving it today and thought the interior isn’t so bad to me after all. I will be keeping it with the supercharger for a long time to come!

    • Rick,

      Thanks for the comment! I do want to talk a second about the factory capacity issue. I talked with a GM plant guy who said that there truck plants push out around 225k or so a year. I think Sweers was telling the truth then on capacity. The rest is speculation.

      -Tim

  14. ToyRulz says:

    First – I am no expert on diff’s but I know my T100 would burn one tire with its posi – and my 2004 Tundra lights them both up. Where the old T100 stayed in line when grip was gone – my Tundra goes sideways. My (master) mechanic made some LSD comments to me as he pointed at the “LSD” label on my diff when I was paying extra for its oil change so I did some digging – Open (posi) are far more reliable than LSD or lockers. A system that allowes this (open) design and the benefits of a LSD/locker is what is on the Tundra now. Its not perfect – but is best compromise to gain traction without sacrificing reliability. Could all be internet lies or my mis-understanding of truths but it seems logical to me so here it is…

  15. […] Change and here's why: Q&A with Mike Sweers, Toyota Chief Engineer for Tundra and Tacoma | Tundra Headquarters Blog __________________ MIDNIGHT RIDER THIS TRUCK CAN TAKE A HIT AND KEEP ON TICKIN' VOTE NOW! […]

  16. […] the low down from Toyota: Q&A with Mike Sweers, Toyota Chief Engineer for Tundra and Tacoma | Tundra Headquarters Blog __________________ MIDNIGHT RIDER THIS TRUCK CAN TAKE A HIT AND KEEP ON TICKIN' March 2013 […]

  17. VISH says:

    dear mike, i a lover of the tundra… im from the south america and everyone from the GUYANA , BRAZIL, VENEZUELA, SURINAME, ECT… EVERYONE PREFER THE TUNDRA… BUT FROM THE 2007 MODEL AND UP WE CANNOT PURCHASE…. BECAUSE THE ACCESS CAD REAR DOOR OPENS REGULAR AS THE FRONT DOOR… CUSTOMS DUTIES ON THE DOORS OPENING LIKE THE FRONT DOOR ARE $50000 USD PLUS…. AND THE 2006 AND OLDER ACCESS CAB IS $2000 USD… SO NO ONE IS LOOKING TO BUY THE NEW TUNDRA BECAUSE OF THE REAR DOORS…. WE HAVE NO CHOICE TO BUY THE FORD RAPTOR F150 WHICH IS A PIECE OF SCRAP METAL

  18. Mason says:

    It’s amazing how many times Mike Sweers hit the nail on the head in his references to other makes. I wasn’t impressed with the new Tundra, but after seeing all little overlooked features it has I have a new respect for the new rig, even if it is a large refresh.

  19. Anonymous says:

    […] the front. The ones on the back creates a downdraft which helps with the choppy ride as well. Q&A with Mike Sweers, Toyota Chief Engineer for Tundra and Tacoma | Tundra Headquarters Blog __________________ 2010 Supercharged 5.7L DC 4×2 Grade. P.S. I hate you GST you made me […]

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