Why Did Toyota Use This Photo of a New Tacoma?

Toyota Tacoma FB

The picture looks like a Ram 1500 that’s been in a wreck.

The above photo, a close-up of the headlight, fender, and hood of the new Tacoma, could very well have been a photo submitted by a Ram owner after a long and damaging day of off-roading.

Believe it or not, Toyota’s marketing department posted the picture in an effort to generate buzz for the all-new Tacoma pickup.

It’s a terrible picture. And people noticed.

The 2016 Toyota Tacoma comes at a time when the truck, now a good decade old without significant updates, is at risk of falling behind new competition. The once-midsize truck is now almost fully grown and can be had in configurations that make it as big as an F-150.

With new models from Chevy and GMC hitting the streets, it’s possible that Toyota has lost its grip on the midsize truck market.

But back to the picture, which seemed to be removed a few days after I first saw it. Comments were all over the board, but nearly all of them noted the poorly aligned seam where the fender meets the hood. Many compared the look to Dodge trucks of the past, and some commented on the seemingly poor paint job and sheer amount of filth covering the truck. For a company known for its tight fit and superior build quality, this was not the way to introduce the future of its pickups and sell more Tacomas.

At best, this ad will have made Tacoma loyalists shriek with worry, and at worst it sent truck buyers looking to the new midsize Colorado and Canyon from General Motors.

Even Hyundai is looking into the compact urban truck market, and Toyota simply can’t afford to let its guard down and make it appear in any way that the Tacoma is inferior.

Maybe the photo used in the ad was a test truck, and a series of oversights led to it being posted online. Or maybe it’s a sign that before you buy a Tacoma, you should go over every nook and cranny to make sure the truck is put together the way you expect.

If you were buying a truck today, would the Tacoma be on your list?

-tgriffith

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