Toyota dealers needed more trucks last year.
They still do, said Mickey Anderson, National Toyota Dealers' Advisory Council chairman.
"Clearly, American consumers prefer more trucks," said Anderson, 47. He is president of Baxter Auto Group in Omaha, Neb. His 20-dealership group includes Baxter Toyota in Lincoln, Neb., Baxter Toyota in Omaha and Legends Toyota in Kansas City, Kan.
"We are registering record light-truck sales. We have great demand that exceeds our production, particularly with our two pickup trucks: Tundra and Tacoma," he said.
Anderson stressed that Toyota is working hard to get those vehicles into dealers' showrooms.
Toyota's truck factory in San Antonio, which builds the full-size Tundra and compact Tacoma, is running full Saturday production to generate greater pickup availability.
The company is getting ready to ramp up Tacoma production in Mexico. And the Princeton, Ind., plant's output of Highlander SUVs is slated to grow by 30,000 units.
That need aside, Toyota and its dealers overall have a very good relationship, Anderson said.
In fact, it's so good there is no need for a Toyota advisory council chairman position, he said. It's so good that he has yet to bring an issue to the factory's attention that its representatives are not fully aware of and already seeking a remedy.
But Anderson has taken on the job anyway. "They are uncommon amongst manufacturers in their sincere desire to interact with their dealers," he said. "Because they embrace this partnership, it makes the chairmanship of the dealer council probably the most superfluous job in the industry.
"It's a great privilege to be the chairman but this is the brand that does not really need one."