The 2016 Toyota Tacoma pickup will be the first in the auto industry to be fitted with a GoPro camera mount as standard. As the pickup segment becomes more competitive, Toyota feels the need to offer its model with a cool redesign. Last year, Tacoma had over 60% of sales within the segment but it will now have to go up against the returning models from Chevrolet and GMC.
This partnership is a less expensive way for Toyota to raise the appeal of the Tacoma to buyers who drive through muddy roads in Texas and desert canyons in Utah. GoPro can also consider this team-up as a success amid attempts by Sony to take a bigger share of the $2 billion action-camera market.
Tacoma’s chief engineer Michael Sweers said that the trucks of all true off-roaders all have GoPros. Sweers, who also has a GoPro in his truck, said that these off-roaders record their adventures as they fish, camp, or off-road. Last year, the only automakers competing in the small pickup segment in the U.S. were only Toyota and Nissan.
In 2011, production was stopped for the Dodge Dakota and Ford Ranger. The end came for GM's Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in 2012. Honda scrapped its Ridgeline in 2014. However, there’s a renewed popularity for small pickups with the return of GM's Colorado and Canyon in late 2014. These two models have gotten some very rave reviews.
The Colorado received the title as truck of the year from MotorTrend magazine. For the first half of the year, GM sold a total of 56,592 units this year. This caused Toyota’s share to dip a bit but the Japanese brand still has the dominant share at around 50%. But GM was able to attract more consumers into the segment.
The outgoing Tacoma reported an 18% increase in deliveries to 88,801, its highest ever for the first-half period since 2007. This is impressive, considering that this model last received major updates over 10 years ago. Bloomberg auto analyst Kevin Tynan said that Toyota had a “free run in this segment for a long time.”
He said that Toyota has noticed how GM’s twins quickly got 30% of the share in this segment so it’s now working to get back the attention of consumers. The revisions for the Tacoma include a more chiseled design, bigger shoulder and hip room, and a more frugal bigger engine.
Toyota was able to get the idea of partnering with GoPro after seeing off-roaders use this camera at events like the Lone Star Toyota Jamboree in East Texas's Barnwell Mountains and Rock Therapy in Utah's Moab desert and canyons.
Sweers said that there has been an “explosion” of owners attaching their cameras either to the sides or placed on their trucks’ windshields.