Toyota is making final preparations to start production of the 2011 Tacoma midsize pickup at its new home in San Antonio. Here’s a first look at the latest Tacoma, which features a new grille for all models.
For the past few weeks, Toyota has been building preproduction Tacomas to check assembly processes and quality. The trucks shown here are part of the last pilot batch.
Tacoma production was moved to Texas after Toyota ended operations at the New United Motor Manufacturing plant in Northern California, where Toyota had built small trucks for the U.S. since 1991. The Tacoma will be built alongside the Toyota Tundra at the Texas plant.
A 2011 Toyota Tacoma rolls down the assembly line for a final quality check ahead of a full-size Tundra.
Toyota’s flexible manufacturing process allows Tundras and Tacomas to roll down the line back-to-back if necessary to meet manufacturing demand, said Craig Mullenbach, manager of external affairs at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas.
The 2011 Tacoma sports a revised grille that collapses the previous two-bar style to a single bar. While some models receive bare plastic grilles, others, like the sporty X-Runner, will have body-colored grilles.
Production of the 2011 Tacoma starts Monday, and the first Tacomas could find their way to Toyota dealerships as early as the end of this month.
2010 Toyota Tacoma with previous two-bar grille