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Changing the face of Attractiveness – Toyota Tacoma Case Study

Automotive product planners (VLMs) work with engineering, design, finance and marketing departments in an effort to make a vehicle attractive. Whether that attraction comes in the form of capability, styling, lease rates or message they are ultimately charged with helping sell the product.
Sometimes the decisions to change a vehicle makes perfect sense and help improve the desirability or attractiveness of a vehicle – especially a vehicle that has to sell well over the course of a long production run (like 8 years or more!). We’ve noticed one of the ways Toyota freshens up their Tacoma ‘s is with a new front grille. In fact, in the last 4 years Toyota has installed 3 different factory front grilles into the Tacoma – from the black 2-bar to argent 2-bar to a black single bar (2011).
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This change does alter the front fascia of the pickup but does it improve attractiveness or is it seen as a cheap attempt to ‘freshen’ a vehicle with minimal effort?
Has Toyota always changed the front grille for the better? We’ve heard a few complaints about the ‘agrent’ (silver color) grille (2009 & 2010) and it appears that the 2011 Tacoma grille has some current gen 4Runner DNA.
It looks like Toyota has changed the front grille at least 8 times over the last 16 years…
Has it always been an improvement? What do you think?

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640 2007 Toyota Tacoma.jpg
Grilles from previous generations:
640 2002 Tacoma.jpg
640 1999Toyota-Tacoma.jpg
640 1997 Tacoma.jpg
640 1996 Tacoma.jpg
640 1995 Tacoma.jpg

1 Comment

  • Mike Western| October 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    The 2011 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck has to be the ugliest truck ever built, especially when viewing it from the front. It is almost enough to make me puke.

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