Toyota's Tundra a frozen production

The Toyota Tundra pickup

TEXT OF STORY

Stacey Vanek-Smith: The high cost of oil has hammered us at the gas pump. That's taken a big toll on sales of trucks and SUVs. Today, the Toyota Tundra will stop rolling off assembly lines in Texas and Indiana. Toyota is suspending its production of the pick-up truck for a few months, but that doesn't mean the Tundra is riding into the sunset. Marketplace's Renita Jablonski has more.


Renita Jablonski: The Tundra is a half-ton, full-size pick-up with a V-8 engine. That's car talk for big, and big gas tank.

Tundra Ad: The all-new, built in America, Toyota Tundra. The truck that's changing it all.

It's certainly changing Toyota's profitability. Tundra sales are down 15 percent so far this year.

Tom Libby is an automotive analyst with JD Power and Associates. He says when production of the truck resumes, it'll be at a slower pace. Consumers may be buying fewer Tundras, but Libby says commercial demand will ultimately keep sales steady.

Tom Libby: Contractors need the utility, the bed size, the all-wheel drive, the off-road, et cetera, et cetera, of large pick-ups, and there is no substitute.

Toyota says nearly 4,000 full-time employees in Indiana and Texas are affected by the suspension. They'll stay on the job doing training and plant improvements.

I'm Renita Jablonski for Marketplace.

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