Mike Stevens | Apr 15, 2009

It’s hard to know what to think about Toyota’s A-BAT concept. Harder still to form an opinion on the news that a production version won’t be seeing the light of day anytime soon.

The A-BAT concept showcased what Toyota’s interpretation of a car-based pickup truck might deliver. To round out the less-is-more theory, Toyota added in its Hybrid Synergy Drive system and wrapped the A-BAT in a dual cab body.

But Toyota Motor Sales USA General Manager Bob Carter has said that at the moment, the A-BAT isn’t a prority.

toyota-a-bat-concept-rear

For now Toyota, like many other manufacturers is concentrating on core models. The A-BAT isn’t considered a chief money-spinner for the brand and as a result development of the production version has been halted for now.

"We have a lot of top priorities right now, and A-BAT isn't one of them," said Carter.

"The market has changed dramatically over the last 12 months. We always keep reprioritizing – under good economic or recessionary times – what our planning is.

"[For now, the A-BAT is] on the shelf."

toyota_a-bat_concept_interior

The A-BAT was considered a front runner to appear as part of Toyota’s youth-focused Scion division, but with Scion shifting its future product to smaller passenger cars, the A-Bat has been left without a home.

Pickup truck sales have been hit hard in the last year too, so the business case for the A-BAT simply doesn't make sense in the current environment. Although development of the car has been started, it will be placed on the backburner until the economic outlook improves.

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