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Old 11-29-2005, 12:01 PM
ericjcline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili
So you are going to have to balance the ideals and the costs - most shops fall down on this; they act like cost-plus contractors. Competing in the biz on price to some degree, while offering something unique is definitely a challenge.
yep, exactly why i am here. i want to get a SOLID idea what a GOOD wheeling truck would need, but probably leave room for someone to do minor tweaks to make it a 5 rated rig. considering i am doing 4+ stuff with no body damage on a sprung-under 2F/H55F combo on 31"s, i dont think the 40 would need a dramatic overhaul to do this.

the unique factor would be in having a toyota 4.7 powerplant. MODERN driveability with plenty of off road power to compete with a 2F. no, it probably wouldnt lug to 400 RPM like my 2F can, but with gears, it would lug to 800 without issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili
I think your read on $45K is right; that may be just above your desired price point. You can negotiate with suppliers, especially if you do one-stop shopping. Marlin comes to mind due to breadth of product, generally good quality, name recognition, and cost competitiveness, and your idea of common minitruck powerplants is a good way to hold cost while providing the All-Toyota unique niche. Marlin may be motivate to expand into a niche he only dabbles in. It's something not many have done and I think there's merit to it.
ideally i would have a production run parts list and buy EVERYTHING for 10 or so trucks all in one shot to leveradge a supplier. i imagine selling 20 ARB lockers in one shot could get me a little bit of a discount. 10 of everything isnt a lot, but with suppliers like SOR, i have been able to wrangle a bit of a bulk discount on rare occasion. i think marlin would be a perfect supplier for all the mechanicals, and i think, if nothing else, the idea would INTEREST him enough to want to explore it.

i think my biggest obstacle is name recognition. i dont have a 10 year history of restos behind me. convincing someone to buy a $40-50K vechicle that is essentially used seems to me to be more difficult than just about anything else.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili
33x9.50? I wouldn't. Odd. 33x12.50 or 35x12.50 is more common and will give you an expected look. I think I'd go with selectable lockers too. Or offer them as options. For that matter, you can pick certain option packages that do not impact your production process costs much one way or the other, and upsell - or offer the base model at your price point, the customer decides. That way you're flexible and sorta custom without the attendant time/cost impact.
yeah, i think having options would be great. but i am thinking for a first production run, options are out. keeping costs down by doing it all the same in one shot i think would be better to see what is fesable. the idea on the 33x9.5s was to not have to cut body panels as much to make the tires fit. naturally a 35x12 is far more common, but i wonder if that would push it into the 'big truck' category rather than a capable '40-looking vehicle. i dont know. but i am biased because i have run 31s for 12 years.. i do agree that doing a sell-up program and offering options would be good, and ideally that would be something that i could offer with a waiting list type demand. at this point, i am trying to figure out if i could sell even 5!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili
Seems to me your ideal customer is what GM pretends to target with their Hummer knockoffs: the outdoorsy, fairly successful midlife professional, but in your case one who actually knows something about 4x4s, and will notice and appreciate that yours are real. You can appeal to that knowledge and add to it. The traditional Cruiser owner may resist your approach, similar to the traditional Harley owner last decade. Harley overcame this and expanded beyond the traditional customer as a result, without overly alienating the traditional customer.
yeah. DINKs (dual income, no kids) and professional poseurs. people who will enjoy a toyota product but wont roll over on a dirt road like an H2 will. get 18mpg and still be streetable. tool around in moab and feel like they can.

i would assume that this truck MIGHT get a similar reception to what the ICON got on ih8mud. lots of people thought it was neat, but wouldnt buy it because it wasnt toyota. this one would be toyota, but it wouldnt be a traditional cruiser... not sure how the reception might go. maybe a guy like landpimp would crap on it, but he wouldnt be my market anyway....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili
Your chief challenges are not design, but supply/production cost containment, and niche marketing IMHO. Areas in which your competition frankly falls down IMHO.

exactly why i thought of this. supply, indeed, will be the challenge. marketing will be challenge #two. doing the work... that is the FUN.
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