On Sept. 18, 2013, Toyota's San Antonio truck plant produced its 1 millionth truck, a 2014 Toyota 1794 Edition CrewMax Tundra in Sunset Bronze Mica. That means that if you lined up all the Tacomas and Tundras that have rolled off the assembly line outside San Antonio they would make a pickup chain running from the plant doors to Honolulu. Production of the full-size pickup started in October 2006, with midsize Tacoma production coming online in the summer of 2010.
This is quite a milestone for Toyota Truck, and as you might expect, leadership is full of praise for the state and the 2,800 people who build the trucks.
“We are grateful for our loyal customers across North America who tell us they love driving Texas-built Tacomas and Tundras,” said Chris Nielsen, president of Toyota Texas, in a statement. “It makes me incredibly proud of our team members and 21 on-site suppliers every time I see one of our trucks on the road knowing that safety and quality are built into every one of them.”
Toyota Texas will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this fall with a special series of events. The new 1794 Edition Tundra is a tribute to the ranch, founded in 1794, on which the truck plant is located.
The redesigned 2014 Tundra is among Toyota’s most American-made vehicles ever. Styling was completed by Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich., and it was engineered by the Toyota Technical Center, also in Ann Arbor. Additionally, all V-6 and V-8 engines for Tacomas and Tundras are manufactured at Toyota’s Huntsville, Ala., engine plant; all transmissions are manufactured in Durham, N.C. One of the unique features of the plant is the fact that 21 suppliers have plants on-site to take care of any issues on the spot.
On a related subject, we're told Toyota Tundra, under the guidance of Los Angeles-based advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, is launching a new advertising campaign that targets the "evolved trucker." We're not exactly sure what that means but the ads seem to imply you can do just about anything with a new Toyota Tundra--Build Anything. It's been our experience that ad campaigns don't mean much if the truck doesn't back up the promotion with strong capabilities, but we like this message and think it's likely to resonate with potential new-truck customers. Whether there is a new "evolved" pickup buyer out there is debatable, and whether this new Tundra with its butched-up exterior and more stylized interior will grab more market share, remains to be seen.