Common Mistakes to Avoid:
Don’t be misled by claims of a maximum tow rating. Towing capacity is NOT regulated by any government agency like NHTSA. So you can never compare “Apples to Apples” when talking about towing. It is up to the manufacturer to decide what the maximum tow capacity for their respective truck. I sleep well at night knowing that when Toyota places a 10,800 pound capacity on Tundra is for capability not “Bragging Rights”. That means if you what to pull a trailer with your Tundra you can do it every day all day. All Tundra’s have a tow rating of at least 10,000 pounds when equipped with the 5.7 V8 and factory tow package.
The maximum tow rating for any ½-ton pickup is never applied to every model in that brand's line, including Toyota. Tow ratings will differ between models due to different vehicle weights and powertrain options. A Regular Cab 4x2 equipped with the V6 engine will have a different tow rating than a Double Cab 4x4 with the 5.7-liter V8. It's important to cross check your towing needs against the tow rating for the desired model.
The Tundra's maximum tow rating of 10,800 pounds cannot be quoted for every model, but Tundra still provides competitive ratings across the line.
The Point is…
1. All Tundra cab/bed configurations have a tow rating of at least 10,000 pounds when equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 and factory tow package
2. 4x2 trucks usually have a higher tow rating than comparable 4x4 models
3. Options such as color-keyed bumpers, 20-inch wheels can reduce the tow rating
4. Competitive ½-ton pickups may require "heavy-duty" or "enhanced" packages to achieve their maximum tow ratings
5. Toyota has specific recommendations for hitches and sway control when towing trailers of certain weights
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
A billion dollars sounds like a lot of money. But it breaks down something like this: The government rebates are either $3500 or $4500. Let’s just take the average of the two, $4000. 4000 goes into one billion two hundred and fifty thousand times (250,000). I think that I heard that across the country there are roughly 750,000 clunkers that will qualify. That means potentially two thirds of the people that qualify will be left out! The boost this program will bring will raise the car sales rate to about one million units per month. Huh?... This thing will be out of cash in just a couple of weeks.
This isn’t a scare tactic, just the math. If you are interested in this program don’t hesitate. One news cast that I watched said, “If you miss this your golden chariot will turn back into a pumpkin.”
General Sales Manager
Monday, April 6, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
IR-2009-30, March 30, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that taxpayers who buy a new passenger vehicle this year may be entitled to deduct state and local sales and excise taxes paid on the purchase on their 2009 tax returns next year.
“For those thinking about buying a new car this year, this deduction may give them a little more drive to make their purchase this year,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “This deduction enables taxpayers to buy now and get cash back later on their tax returns.”
The deduction is limited to the state and local sales and excise taxes paid on up to $49,500 of the purchase price of a qualified new car, light truck, motor home or motorcycle.
The amount of the deduction is phased out for taxpayers whose modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 for individual filers and between $250,000 and $260,000 for joint filers.
IRS also alerted taxpayers that the vehicle must be purchased after Feb. 16, 2009, and before Jan. 1, 2010, to qualify for the deduction.
The special deduction is available regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions on their return. The IRS reminded taxpayers the deduction may not be taken on 2008 tax returns.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
The all new Toyota Tundra is a very impressive truck. Motor Trends truck of the year as well as many other well deserved awards. Prior to actual launch of the Tundra I was able to visit Toyota’s truck plant in Indiana. We saw raw materials being delivered to the facility as well as all aspects of assembly all the way to watching finished Tundra’s being started up and driven off of the assembly line. (I understand that starting and driving a vehicle off of the assembly line may not be standard practice with other manufacturers.) I came away with a profound appreciation and respect for Toyota’s commitment to building high quality vehicles.
In addition to touring the manufacturing plant I was also able to spend time at the Toyota proving grounds and drive the trucks offered by Ford, Chevy, and Nissan for comparison. Toyota spoke to us in a very frank and humble manor. Their opinion was that this may be the last chance they have to really get into the full size truck market. Yes, the quality has always been great but Toyota has never had a truck that they could actually call “Full Sized”. The T100 was available in regular cab only. The first generation Tundra was often referred to as a 7/8th sized truck. Almost, but not quite there.
Enter the All new Tundra…
Knowing that this could be the last chance to get into the full size truck business Toyota purposely over -built the Tundra for the half ton market. What does this mean to you? Simple. You get to reap the benefits of a truck that out performs any of the half ton trucks on the market today.
When are brakes not just brakes?
One of the many things that impressed me is the design of the brakes. Yes, they are bigger and stronger than everyone else’s but it goes much deeper. The braking system on the Tundra is the part of an integral system that Toyota calls: Star Safety System™ - Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) + Traction Control (TRAC), 4-wheel disc Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, as well as being a key ingredient of Toyota’s auto limited slip differential that gives up to 15% better traction than the competition’s plain limited slip differentials.
Let’s discuss this a little further. The front brakes on the Tundra are a four piston “Fixed Caliper” design. This is a design used in racing. It provides more stopping power with a quicker reaction time. Plus, in comparison to most of the competition, all four of the Tundra’s brakes can be operated independently. This is very important. Once you can control each brake individually it opens up all kinds of possibilities, specifically the Star Safety System and Auto LSD referred to in the previous paragraph. Here is a great video showing Tundra's LSD and 6-speed tranny whoopin' up on an F-150.
First is Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). (Do not try this at home.) My son and I ride motorcycles on the weekends. We loaded up the Tundra with our bikes and gear and headed to one our favorite places. On the way it began to rain heavily. Being the optimists that we are, we continued in hopes that it would clear up by the time we arrived so that we would still be able to ride. The rain kept coming and the dips in the road began to gather rain. Soon the water was nearly crossing the entire road. We hit one to these rather large puddles and the truck shuttered slightly, then settled down and we plowed through with water flying everywhere. My son Tyler looked at me and said, “Dad, did you do that?” I said no then looked at the dash and noticed a light shaped like a car with squiggly lines flashing. My truck was smart enough to know what I was trying to do and applied the brakes individually in a manner that had the best chance at keeping us on our intended path! Wow… If anyone reading this knows my wife please DO NOT tell her about the next part… After a short description to Tyler of what just happened we began to look for bigger puddles! Soon we found a large enough volume of water that when hit, the truck backed out of the throttle (another part of VSC) and began to apply the brakes. We literally felt the truck hunting for pavement. Water was flying everywhere and Tyler and I were grinning from ear to ear. Once all of the wheels were back in contact with the road the engine began to pick up speed and off we went! I love this truck!
The next really practical application of Toyota’s brake technology is in their auto limited slip differential. Anyone my age or older can remember when all cars were rear wheel drive as opposed to the front wheel drives on most cars today. I have seen more than my share of cars on the side of the road with one of the back wheels in the ditch. The car would be stuck, with the wheel in the ditch spinning wildly. These cars had open differentials. That means that the power follows the path of least resistance or simpler put the power goes to the wheels with the least traction.
Enter Toyota Brake Technology…
What would happen if you could independently control each brake and knowing that, you took an open differential, applied the brakes to the wheel that is spinning? Right! Toyota’s Auto Limited Slip Differential. What exactly does this mean? It means that the Tundra is smart enough to know that when one of the back wheels is spinning faster than the other there is a low traction situation. It will apply the brakes to the wheel that is spinning. This in turn sends the power to the wheel that has the traction. It means that I personally witnessed and drove a two wheel drive Tundra through places and obstacles at the Tundra proving grounds that other makes could only pass through in four wheel drive! (Sometimes barely) I love this truck!
Are Tundra’s brakes better than the competition’s?
For more information on Toyota’s Star Safety System and Auto LSD go to http://www.toyota.com/ .
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The U.S. News Media Group, which includes U.S. News & World Report, released its first annual Best Cars for the Money awards, and Tacoma captured Best Compact Truck for the Money honors. Of the 14 vehicle categories, Toyota won five. Other winners were Camry, Highlander, Sienna and Avalon. Lexus also captured three awards with ES, RX and GS models.
According to the news release from U.S. News Media Group, the honor recognizes the vehicles that earn the highest marks for overall value and appeal within their category. U.S. News says it combines its own 2009 Car Rankings with cost of ownership data provided by IntelliChoice.com. The Car Rankings are based primarily on the "balanced, diverse opinions of hundreds of professional auto critics," according to U.S. News.
In recognizing the Tacoma, U.S. News said, "The 2009 Toyota Tacoma is a strong choice among compact pickups for its car-like interior, as well as its practical capabilities."
U.S. News gave the Tacoma an overall average score of 9.1 in ranking compact trucks. In breaking down the numbers, U.S. News gave Tacoma 9.9 for safety and a 9.0 for reliability. It also acknowledged Tacoma's "polished engine options," "strong off-road performance" and "impressive crash test scores."
The U.S. News honor wraps up a strong year of awards for the Tacoma, which is easily the best-selling compact truck on the market. Here's a recap of other recent accolades bestowed on the truck:
- Named "Best in Class" by Truck Trend magazine
- Named "2009 Top Safety Pick" by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS.) Tacoma is the only compact pickup on the list of 72 vehicles
- Named "2009 Residual Value Award" by Automotive Lease Guide
- Named "2009 Best Resale Value" by Kelley Blue Book
- Named "Best Midsize Truck" by Texas Auto Writers
- Named "Consumers Top Rated Vehicle Award" in compact truck category by Edmunds.com
To learn more:
Friday, January 30, 2009
This year GM and Ford introduced special packages for their full-size pickups that promise improved fuel economy. Sometimes the fuel economy estimates are mentioned in the same breath as the max towing capacity for the entire line. That can be misleading because no truck hauls 5½ tons and still gets 20 miles to the gallon. You have to equip a truck for one or the other, but not both.
First, here’s a quick review of the special fuel economy models from the competition:
Ford SFE (Superior Fuel Economy)
Available only on SuperCrew XL and XLT 4x2 w/ 5.5-foot cargo bed Includes 4.6-liter, 3-valve V8 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, 3.15:1 axle ratio
EPA estimated mileage: 15mpg city/21mpg highway; combined rating: 17mpg*
Engine power: 292 horsepower, 320 lb-ft torque; Max tow rating: 7,500 pounds
Chevrolet Silverado XFE and GMC Sierra XFE (Xtra Fuel Economy)
Available only on Crew Cab 4x2 w/ 5.8-foot bed (LT trim for Chevy, SLE for GMC)
Includes 5.3-liter V8, 6-speed automatic transmission, 3.08:1 axle ratio
EPA estimated mileage: 15mpg city/21mpg highway; combined rating: 17mpg*
Engine power: 315 horsepower, 338 lb-ft torque; Max tow rating: 7,000 pounds
GM and Ford say the improved mileage comes with the mid-level engine, improved aerodynamics, 6-speed automatic transmission, low-numerical axle ratio and reduced weight.
Look at the real tradeoff of owning one of these special editions when compared to a Tundra Double Cab 4x2 with a 6.5-foot cargo bed and equipped with a 5.7-liter V8, 6-speed automatic transmission and 4.30:1 axle ratio. The Tundra has an EPA estimated combined rating of 16mpg, just one mpg less than the Ford and Chevy special editions with smaller engines. Meanwhile, the Tundra's bigger i-Force engine is rated at 381 horsepower with 401 lb-ft of torque. This particular Tundra configuration is rated to tow 10,600 pounds when equipped with the factory tow package.
According to fueleconomy.gov, the Chevy and Ford's annual operating cost would be $1,596. The Tundra's would be $1,697. That's based on 15,000 miles driving with 45% on the highway and 55% in the city. Cost of gasoline for this calculation was $1.81 per gallon in mid-December. Overall, the Chevy and Ford would use 20.1 barrels of oil while the Tundra would use 21.4 barrels annually.
The bottom line for truckers is the trade off between operating cost and capability. The Tundra costs only $101 more each year in gasoline but can tow 3,600 pounds more than the Chevy and 3,100 pounds more than the Ford. Even when towing identical loads, the Tundra will accelerate quicker and pull harder on mountain roads, all for about 28 cents a day more in gasoline.
* 2009 EPA MPG estimates. Actual mileage will vary.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Under the AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine program, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is offering to help qualified owners replace their older, polluting vehicles.
As many as 1.9 million households in 16 counties may be eligible for vouchers to help replace their older car or truck. Individual vouchers are in the amounts of $3,000 or $3,500, depending on the type and age of the replacement vehicle. All Texans who meet certain qualifications can apply.
“We are making a concerted effort to get older, heavy-polluting vehicles either repaired or removed from the road,” said Chairman Buddy Garcia. “To that end, the Legislature approved $90 million this biennium. It is a significant expansion of our effort to reduce onroad emissions in certain areas not complying with federal standards for ozone.”
To qualify for vouchers, motorists must have their vehicles registered in designated counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, (Denton Co. is included) and fit the income eligibility scale.
For example, DFW area family of four with an annual net income of $61,950 can apply.
The vouchers provide the following:
$3,000 for a car, current model year or up to three model years old
$3,000 for a truck, current model year or up to two model years old
$3,500 for a hybrid vehicle, current or previous model year
All of the vehicles being replaced will be scrapped to make sure they will no longer be used.
As newer cars and trucks are bought each year, the overall Texas fleet gets cleaner. That’s because newer cars and trucks are equipped with high-tech emission controls. Any vehicle that is model 1996 or newer has the benefit of onboard diagnostics.
Currently, 77 percent of the vehicles registered in the Houston, DFW, Austin, and El Paso areas are model 1996 or newer. This segment is expected to grow to 89 percent by 2010. (El Paso has not joined the Drive a Clean Machine program.)
“What we’re doing is trying to speed up the process by helping owners of older vehicles buy cars and trucks that are at least a little cleaner,” said program coordinator Bob Wierzowiecki of TCEQ’s Air Quality Division. “Not everyone can afford a new car. But driving a new car, or a qualifying used car, is better for air quality than driving a vehicle that’s 10 years or older.”
Thanks to technological advances, today’s new vehicles can be up to 98 percent cleaner than those produced 10 years ago, he added.
With the state-funded incentives, 15,000 to 30,000 polluting vehicles could be permanently removed from Texas roads in the next two years, according to TCEQ estimates.
Jim McNatt Toyota is registered with the State of Texas to accept vouchers under this program for people in Denton and other qualifying counties.
Interested in the program? Download the electronic application in a .pdf file to apply for the program in the DFW area. You may also call 940-239-6401 and we will help walk you through the application process.
Visit: http://www.driveacleanmachine.org/ for all of the details.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Karen Severance has worked for Jim McNatt since 2005. She lives in the neighborhood behind the dealership. She has a degree in recreational therapy. Karen is a mother hen! And I mean that in the best possible way. She takes care of her chicks (customers) as no one else can. In just three short years Karen has developed an extensive client list that keeps her busy. Approximately 80% of her business is repeat or referral.
Anyone that works in other departments at the dealership needing a car comes straight to her because they know that she will do what is best for them. What’s most impressive to me is that when Jim or Al McNatt has a friend in need of a new car they call Karen first. It was great to watch this transformation grow. At first Jim would call my cell and let me know he had a personal friend coming and describe their personality to me so we could pick the best person to help them. Once he started getting feedback from his friends on Karen, he started calling her first! Then he would call my cell or send an email to let me know that they were going to ask for her. Now that is confidence from the boss!
Once we had a lady drove in from Nocona on Al’s recommendation and she asked for Karen. She was busy assisting another customer so another salesperson helped her. (All of our salespeople are great by the way.) Things were going great. The customer picked out a new Sequoia and then called her dad back in Nocona to let him know. Everything went fine until he asked if Karen was helping her. She replied that she had someone else because Karen was with another customer. Dad’s response was, "Come back home, we will do this tomorrow when Karen is available."
Here is a short video of Karen in action so that you can see what we are talking about.
Thank you for watching.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Tundra & Tacoma are Top Safety Picks - Tundra is a repeat winner! And Tacoma is the only compact pickup to receive this honor!
Both Tundra and Tacoma have been named a 2009 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). According to an IIHS news release, dated November 25, 2008, only 72 vehicles were given this honor.
Last year the Tundra was the first and only pickup to earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick. This year Tacoma joins the group and is the only compact pickup listed. Other pickups making the list for the first time include the Ford F-150 and Honda Ridgeline. FJ Cruiser, Highlander and RAV4 also made the list.
According to the IIHS, a Top Safety Pick recognizes vehicles that "do the best job of protecting people in front, side and rear crashes based on good ratings in the Institute tests." All winning vehicles must also have electronic stability control (ESC). The Tundra and Tacoma have Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)--which is Toyota's version of ESC--as standard equipment. VSC is a component of the more comprehensive Star Safety System wich is standard equipment on many of Toyota's vehicles.
The Institute also acknowledges the benefits of side airbags in side-impact crashes. The Tundra and Tacoma offer seat-mounted side airbags and front and rear side-curtain airbags as standard equipment. According to the Institute, only 23% of pickups have standard side airbags with head protection, and only 37% of pickups have ESC.
The Tundra and Tacoma were also equipped with active front head-restraint designs. The Institute said more than 25 vehicles had the required crash-test ratings and ESC but came with "inadequate head restraint designs" and didn't make the final list.
Last summer, Tacoma was the only 2008 compact pickup tested to earn a "good" on side-impact crashes. The other trucks earned either a "marginal" or "poor." Tacoma was also rated "good," which is the Institutes top rating, in frontal impact testing.
To learn more: http://www.iihs.org/