If it weren't for top Toyota executives from Japan going to a Dallas Cowboys home game a few years ago, San Antonio might not be the newly selected hometown for the automaker's sixth North American assembly plant.
Toyota Motor Corp. President Fujio Cho of Tokyo said Monday it was the fateful trip to the Cowboys game and an impromptu tour of Texas Stadium's parking lots that opened his company's eyes to the state's significant truck market. The visit convinced the executives to launch the Tundra full-size truck line in 1999.
"For some time during the 1990s, our product planners in Japan resisted creating a big V-8 pickup for sale in America, but our U.S. colleagues changed this opinion. How? By inviting them to a Dallas Cowboys football game," Cho said.
"On the way to the game, the Americans took the Japanese on an extended tour of the Texas Stadium parking lot. Spread before them were thousands upon thousands of full-size pickup trucks, row after shining row. Our planners realized then that American pickups were not solely commercial vehicles but widely used by everyone for regular transportation. The result was the Toyota Tundra."
You all know that I'm not a fan of oversized vehicles, but if they're gonna be on our roads anyway we may as well make 'em here. Kudos all around.Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 11, 2003 to The great state of Texas | TrackBack