Could Toyota Be Thinking About Another Truck Plant?

2014 Tundra action II

With the pickup truck market set to sell more than 2 million pickups in the next year, some manufacturers find themselves facing a should-we-invest-in-a-new-truck-plant decision. When the pickup truck market fell to an all-time sales low of just more than 1 million units just five years ago, Toyota, in particular, found itself in a huge hole, having just spent more than $2 billion on a state-of-the-art production facility in San Antonio, Texas, to build its newest full-size pickup. Fast-forward to today and Toyota seems to be caught in exactly the opposite situation, with its full-size and midsize pickup sales making a strong comeback.

With production of Toyota's Tijuana, Mexico, plant at full capacity (soon to be capable of producing 63,000 Tacomas per year) and two full shifts running at the San Antonio plant (building Tacomas and Tundras), conservative predictions have Toyota producing close to 275,000 pickups by the end of 2013. However, in order to increase that number to meet demand for 2014 and beyond, there are only a few choices to consider.

The Tijuana plant could possibly produce a few more thousand vehicles, but it doesn't seem that would help U.S. demand much because most of those Tacomas go to Mexico and Canada. According to Automotive News, the San Antonio plant could possibly squeeze its two shifts to produce as many as 7,000 more units per year. Probably the most obvious way to produce more pickups is to start a third shift, which is always an expensive and risky proposition. Whether the decision-makers in Japan have the stomach for such an investment with the sting of the 2008-2009 sales dip still fresh in their minds is anyone's guess.

With all that said and from the rumors we're hearing, it seems there is still strong support from Japan for more Tacoma investment; that leads us to believe the Tacoma will more likely than not get a big cash investment, especially as it is already the segment's dominant player with well more than a 50 percent market share. It will be fun to watch what happens to the midsize pickup segment as both Chevrolet and Honda prepare themselves to challenge the Tacoma in both sales volumes and industry leading technology.

 

Comments

Nissan and Toyota are targeting Chevrolet. I can tell you that. You might as well add Ford and Dodge.

With the diesel Tacoma and Tundra rumors, it wouldn't surprise me if Toyota decides to build another plant. Since Toyota has many suppliers on-site, making the diesels in their own plant makes sense.

A diesel Tacoma option ultimately means there will be a diesel variant in the 4Runner most likely.

@John,
Toyota could easily stick the old Hilux diesel into a Tacoma. It would be "new" for NA.

The Truck Market will also be GM and Fords, anything else is POS, yes POS Tundra, POS Tacoma, POS Ram, POS Dakota, POS Titan and the biggiest POS Ridgeline.

Build that new Toyota truck plant in Northern Kentucky. Lower costs, lots of land, and near Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and other midwestern states. Also major interstates such as I-71, 75, and 64, and the Greater Cincinnati Airport (N KY).

Toyota Manufacturing Indiana has excess capacity. Excess capacity is currently being utilized to make vehicles for export to Russia and Australia. Toyota has option to manufacture Tacoma or Tundra at TMMI.
Do not expect Toyota to add a plant for trucks in North America or make a huge expansion in San Antonio. Minor expansion in San Antonio or Mexico is more likely.
There is talk Toyota will import HiLux/Tacoma to Mexico and Canada from Thailand if Chicken Tax is eliminated.

all american is racist against the japenese and italians.

@AllAmerican,

@Lou,

Once again the biggest spam is from GM and Ford guys !

RAM most reliable truck !

First ever back to back Motor Trend Truck of the Year Award !

GM fans are distraught that the ugly,unreliable GM 1500 twins LOST the M.T Truck of the Year Award.

Ford and GM are always getting repairs done,my 19000 mile Eco-Boost has a new engine,and most of my GM cars/trucks have piston slap (knock,knock,knock) I had to get warranty work done on my 2012 GMC 2500 (major work done on a 54k truck) I also picked up a 2010 RAM 1500 with a HEMI and 120k on the truck and it runs/drives better than a new Ford or GM and it was a repo..guy was divorced,lost job ect...My Honda's all need waterpumps and timing belts at low mileage.Toyota's are well worn,feel worn with half the mileage of a Chrysler..I buy from dealer trade in auctions,and repo auctions..And restore old classics as well.And thanks to you guys I am selling off my collection of Ford and Gm cars that I owned for years ,they couldnt hold a candle to my Mopar's in performance,handling or looks so its time for my non Mopar collection to go..make more room for more MOPAR'S !!

Remember do a Burnout its good for the Environment !!
No..No..No..GM-Ford guys,not being a burnout from smoking crack,pot..Doing a burnout in your car/truck without holding the brake (even old Ford and GM cars cant do a rolling burnout like a old Big Block Mopar !!)

@ harold ,

The RAM 1500,2500,3500 are AMERICAN Trucks ! Chrysler Group is AMERICAN..

Remember current Ford/GM products are from Turkey,Australia,Korea,Sweden .Germany,U.K ,Japan ect..

So,they hate their own brand..Camaro/Cadilacs are Opels,Ford suv's,Taurus are Volvo's..and on and on...Ford and GM use the same transmissions in their cars and suv's..lol..

We will not see the Chicken Tax lifted in the USA any time soon but import tariffs will be lifted in Canada since they signed a FTA with the EU. Toyota could import the Hilux into Canada and free up production for sale into the USA. That would potentially free up 10K Tacoma's for the USA.

Good job Toyota!

@All American
Toyota Manufacturing Indiana has excess capacity. Excess capacity is currently being utilized to make vehicles for export to Russia and Australia.

No not at all. We get our cars locally ,Pickups from Thailand. Toyota builds cars in Russia.

Ryan is Wrong
Toyota exports from Indiana to Russia.

@Rob Ryan

http://www.automotivelogisticsmagazine.com/news/toyota-to-export-us-made-highlanders-to-the-antipodes-and-russia

And Australia.

Owned.

Buy American or say Goodbye to America!

http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/top-10/top-8-most-american-trucks-for-2013.html

All American Trucks 2013

Toyota Tundra

Ford F*150

Honda Ridgeline

Tundra = made by Japanese automaker, Toyota who is headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan.

Ram = Chrysler = subsidiary of Fiat an Italian automobile manufacturer headquartered in Turin, Italy.

Ridgeline = Honda = the Japanese automaker headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan

If you want to buy an American truck, it will have to be F-series or Chevy/GMC (non Mexican made.)

The rest are imports.


According to Wikipedia, Toyota employs approximately 316,000 people. That means about 12% of their employees are in the US. Where do you suppose the rest are? The money being paid into their salaries isn't going into our economy and isn't help us one bit. So let's stop with the lies about what is good for our economy.

Manufacturing jobs are a drop in the bucket compared to the total an automaker has to offer the country it is based in. When Toyota moves their corporate headquarters and engineering staff to the US I'll buy one, not before.

They talk much about their R&D and engineering work, but the vast majority of that is done in Japan. Their highest technology vehicles, such as the Prius, are produced in Japan and are nearly 100% Japanese content. So the only benefit we reap from our investment in them is we get to buy the finished products. Their R&D barely creates any jobs here and doesn't result in sales for US based suppliers.

If they want to provide jobs here, fine. I'm not going to call for driving them off our shores. But let's dispense with the BS that they do as much for our economy as a domestic automaker.

It's simple economics. The home country always reaps the lion's share of the profits. The home country always receives the most jobs and the best jobs that the company has to offer. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

I never said it all goes to one to place. The statistic shows that Toyota is 12% invested in the US as far as their workforce goes. That isn't much. The article also brags that Toyota has invested in $17 billion in the US in the time they have been here. Now divide that by the 40+ years they have been here. Even factoring in inflation over that time, it isn't much of a total investment.

So again, let's dispense with the BS about what is good for our economy. A foreign company that builds a few plants and a couple offices on our shores will never be as good as a domestic industry. Period. Let's not kid ourselves. I guarantee you that Europe, China, and Japan don't kid themselves about GM.

@All American,
No I am not wrong ,the Hilux, Landcruiser and Prado come from Asia.(they do not make them in NA) They have JUST started to export the Highlander(Kluger here.) to join Asian shipments of the CUV.

@All American,
"Exports of the Highlander to Australia, New Zealand and Russia were formerly supplied from Japan."

Everything stops at the dealer, the Toyota Dealer has to sell the truck, I don't know how your local Toyota Dealer rates but in my part of the country they have a very bad reputation. When I look at a Tundra that's stripped down that costs $6000 more than a Ford or Chevy I have to wonder what makes it worth more money? Do I buy it cause the Dealer or the salesman is a nice guy? I can walk in any Ford or Chevy Dealer and get treated as good or better. The Ford Dealer has better waiting rooms and serves free coffee and food and he gives me free stuff like gloves. I love my Ford Dealer!

AllAmerican? I have to agree with you. I feel good and I get respect from my friends driving an American Truck. The money I spent for my American Truck went more to help my fellow American that built that truck. I feel good about that.

@All American Made

I don't mind your Tundra hate it is your right but please don't tell the lies if you can help it. The Tundra was designed in California, engineered in Michigan and assembled in Texas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsj5If58esQ this stuff is a known fact. Yes it also has one of the highest domestic parts content.

Now I know some of you are not like me and when you go buy a truck you ask about the domestic part content, where it was assembled, where it was designed, where it was engineered and where the profits go cause you know these are publically traded companies and you need to know that. Silly me I just buy what I like that's is in my budget.

AD, exactly correct, the Tundra is All American made by American workers, with money that goes back into the communties that these plants are based in. All American made either does not understand global economies or he is it as a crutch since it is a threat to his way of life and his brand.

@Tom:

"When I look at a Tundra that's stripped down that costs $6000 more than a Ford or Chevy I have to wonder what makes it worth more money?"

Couldn't be quality or reliability or anything like that...oh noooo...You crack me up, man!

In the end, an item is worth whatever someone will pay for it. If it was all just dealer greed, wouldn't Toyota truck prices normalize (i.e. drop like a rock until they were the same price as comparably equipped trucks of other brands) the instant they drove off the lot? But they don't...in fact, they retain their resale value even BETTER than other brands!

I can't understand how you and the rest of the jingoistic rednecks who post on this site can so completely miss this...

P.S.
I drive a Chevy and an old Jeep, so please don't accuse me of anti-American bias.

P.P.S.
The Chevy and the Jeep were both built in Canada.

@Robert Ryan the diesel would have to meet emissions, I doubt the diesel in the Hilux would pass without any modifications. This is why it wouldn’t surprise me if Toyota outsourced their diesel to something like the 4 cyl and V8 Cummins or a CAT diesel for the Tundra.

CATT does not have an engine to meet emissions standards, not even for big rigs anymore.

All American, who employs the most? Where in the US or around the world? Doesn't really matter I'd rather buy something built by Americans so yes I will buy a Tundra or a Silverado built in IN, but I will not buy a Silverado built in Mexico. GM is putting money into the Mexican Economy down there not America like Toyota is by assembling and designing there products in the US.

@John
The 4.5 V8 Toyota will be able to be manufactured to meet US emission standards, just as it will meet Euro VI.

You are sort of correct in that the 3 litre Toyota Hilux diesel will not meet US emission standards, or for that matter Euro VI without extensive development.

Toyota have been working with BMW on diesel tech. So I would expect the next Hilux diesel to be a exceptionally good engine. Probably 2.0-2.2 litres in capacity.

With diesel technology advancing at it's current pace that size engine will suffice in one of our future midsizers.

Current base model global midsizers generally come with a 2.0-2.5 litre diesel and they seems to do okay.

@All American

Nice try first you told a lie about where the Tundra was designed and engineered and got caught now what do you do you decide to do a red herring and change the topic from the Tundra to everything Toyota makes because you failed to prove your point on the Tundra.

@John and @Big Al from OZ
It is not a big deal for Toyota you already have their smaller/midsize diesels running around the US
http://www.hino.com/
The 3 Litre Hilux engine would fit into the Tacoma without a problem. It would not be a major problem to get it to US Tier standards. Reluctance to buy diesels in midsize or full size Pickups much more of a problem for Toyota.
The Ford Transit 3.2 diesel cannot be upgraded to Euro Vi standards but is acceptable to meet US Standards.
Big Al From Oz I cannot see that 2 Litre engine being a "goer" in a lot of Asian / South American markets for Toyota. It would be too acceptable to not wanting to run on dirty fuel.

Out of all of the vehicles Toyota sells in North America, only 24% are imported from outside the region.

The only vehicles that Ford makes that were designed in North America are the Mustang and F-Series. Everything else was designed, engineered, tested etc. over seas.

GMC/Chevy - the majority of their car platforms are Opel or Holden based. In other words foreign designed, engineered, tested etc.

Chrysler - their cars and SUV's are a mix of Mercedes and Fiat with some North American stuff sprinkled in.

Lou_BC I will have to disagree with you on part of that, Ford and GM do design a lot of thier cars here in America. The Impala, Taurus, all the SUV's, are American designs. The only thing from GM thats Holden is the new SS.

if toyota really wants to exceed they need to make a fuel efficient truck switching to diesel just like the nissan titan and the 2015 or 2016 chevy colorado. Now another thing is GM and Ford and Toyota and RAM make pretty good fullsize trucks but all of them are pricey no matter what. Diesels go easily for more then 35000 and thats on the low side. Now from what i hear about ford all they want to do is down size motor and put some half a55 turbos on there and say. Do you want a full size truck with 3** ftlbs of torque that can get 21 highway and shi* city? Well the new F150 is the right work truck for you haha. No we do not want that crap here. In mexico they dont even sell ford f150s with ecosh*ts they know that V8s are hot sellers no matter what. you have no emmisions BS screw saving the Ecosystem let me burn rubber and roll coal.

@RobertRyan
Those regular cab Toyota's/Hino's that are sold in the US should be factored in with pickups.

I mean if anything 3500/350 and over is considered a pickup then the Hino's should.

The 3 litre Hilux would probably bolt straight into a Taco.

We have some of them in 4x4s at work. Good engines and could probably pull stumps, but lacking and lack refinement like the 3.2, 5 cylinder Ford Duratorques and the V6's from Nissan and Fiat.

@Juan O
It's according to what diesel you are looking at. A small light duty 4 cylinder diesel could be less than a $2 000 cost impost. Also, if Nissan can provide the 2.8 ISF diesel in the Frontier it would be less. They are made near Beijing.

@All American
Very little if any money from Toyota would make it out of the US to Japan.

So, the computer or smart phone you are using is probably from China.

@Don - my point is the "Detroit" car companies (Ford, GMC, Chrysler) import vehicles into the USA, they also use expertise from the rest of the world. That is no different than Toyota since all of them are Multi-national corporations.

A company deserves to make a profit and they can spend those profits as they see fit after shareholders are compensated.

The Colorado is a prime example of a foreign designed and engineered product that was modified for USA consumption. That is no different than the Camaro.

Actually Big Al, the US is big enough to be self reliant if the people wanted it to be. It would just be bad for foreign relations to tax the hell out of all imports. Exports would end. Would this be a bad thing economically? Actually I think it would be a fairer way to make sure that each country prospers proportionately. The downside? You wouldn't have as good products. The investments put into product development would have to be smaller because everyone would be selling to smaller markets. But then there would also be less competition, so their market share would go up in that region. But then with less competition, product quality would likely suffer. So can it be done? YES! Are there advantages? YES! Are their disadvantages? YES! Is it worth doing? Probably not!

@LOU BC - 'We will not see the Chicken Tax lifted in the USA any time soon but import tariffs will be lifted in Canada since they signed a FTA with the EU. Toyota could import the Hilux into Canada and free up production for sale into the USA"

That's great Lou...now other than news about the crack smoking Rob Ford, we just have to find someone who gives a flying F#cK about what happens in Canada....lol!

As a recent convert to the Tundra, I have to say that any time Toyota has expanded its production of any of its products in the past, the quality has gone to hell in a handbag.

Too many examples to list here but as I recall when Mr Toyoda testified before Congress he acknowledged that Toyota quality had degraded over time when they started making them in America.

So, I hope that Toyota does not expand its production capability because the Tundra they put out right now is truly an outstanding pickup truck.

@expedition - for once, I have to agree with most of what you say.

@All American,

I looked at my data stamp of my wonderful Tacoma and you know what is says?

MADE IN U.S.A.

That's right, my Toyota Tacoma is "American" made bud!

Built by the UAW to boot!

I am so proud my hard earned money bought this "American" made Tacoma and the jobs it supports all across this wonderful nation!

Jobs not only from the parts makers to the actually factory here but the railroad crews, truck drivers that delivered it to the dealer, the folks at the dealer that got it ready for delivery/sale, the bank that financed the purchase, the local and state regulators that collected taxes and registrations and so forth...

I cannot wait to get my next "American" made Tacoma and the jobs it will continue to support!

I also will defend the Constitution and stand up for the Bill of Rights because I am a true "American" unlike the cowards who define folks by what vehicle they drive!

Freedom of choice, learn what that means!

I was shopping for a truck in the spring of 2013, I looked at ALL trucks, when it came to the truck with the most value and the best discount it was the Nissan Titan, the test ride loved the power and performance it had, I passed on it cause of the bad gas mileage and questioned the reliability, next looked at the Toyota Tundra, didn't like the seating and the restricted driver vision, the 4.8 V8 was weak on power, wasn't any discounts, price too high, next the Chevy Silverado, all star options, it just felt cheap and old school and the dealer lied about the discounts he had advertised on it, priced too high, next the Dodge Ram,, LOVED the roomy interior, loved the power with good brakes and tight steering, the seating and where the steering wheel was placed fit me perfect, but the dealer only gave me $3500 off sticker. I picked the Ford even when I HATE the steering feel cause I got $12K off sticker price, wasn't totally happy with the Ford but I feel I got it at a bargain.

Repair parts are always less expensive on domestic trucks, yea I know you'll say your import truck doesn't need repair parts cause its more reliable. I am talking about brake pads, exhaust parts, belts, hoses , parts they all need! Plus the more domestic trucks out there the more the repair technician gets more experience in repairing it where most of them get stumped when your Toyota or Nissan breaks down. Also the domestic trucks are built better to suit the cold climates with thicker glass, bigger heater cores, yea the windshield on your rice burner fogs up cause the glass is paper thin!

@tj is correct ram is a nice truck. Love the sport but it's a step above a Lada.

@all American stop being a buffoon. You've got to be a share holder that's paid to flap his gums on here. Way more money in wages etc on each vehicle than ther is profit. You act like there are Toyota owners rolling in money and passing it out like candy in Japan laughing at North Americans because we buy North American made vehicles. Quit the BS.

@TomRepair parts are always less expensive on domestic trucks, yea I know you'll say your import truck doesn't need repair parts cause its more reliable. I am talking about brake pads, exhaust parts, belts, hoses , parts they all need! Plus the more domestic trucks out there the more the repair technician gets more experience in repairing it where most of them get stumped when your Toyota or Nissan breaks down. Also the domestic trucks are built better to suit the cold climates with thicker glass, bigger heater cores, yea the windshield on your rice burner fogs up cause the glass is paper thin!

Need I say anything? Those parts are not any more than domestic parts or very little more. Maybe 20-25 years ago. Chevy can't even make rear disc brakes that last so who's gonna spend more on brake issues?
So now I should buy American so the mechanics can get more experience??? Glad you're not in sales lol and your last statement was true on an 1987 tercel but you're dead wrong. Grown the F up.

Diesel Dave, I highly doubt you've owned any Toyota's. The Tundra is one of the highest rated trucks for reliability and numbers don't lie. If you don't like it don't buy it, I will just pass you by while your broke down on the side of the road in your Dodge Neon or whatever you drive.

Toyota is thinking about sending more Tacoma production to Mexico. They will be ditching regular cabs, so I propose moving Access Cab production to Mexico. This would be a great idea.

Under consideration: Shifting some production of the compact Tacoma pickup, built at San Antonio, back to the Baja, Mexico, Tacoma factory, says Mike Sweers,chief engineer for the Tundra.

- USA Today

What is hilarious about the "American" Tundra bashers is that 99% of us Tundra owners likely have owned NUMEROUS other vehicles made by GM, Ford, Fiat--I know that I have and still do. I can definitively say that my Tundra has been the most reliable rig I have ever owned. Is it perfect? No. But it has been a great ownership experience compared to the other brands I've owned. I hope they expand truck production in the US and eventually add diesel and HD options.

I thought this article was about Toyota considering an additional assembly plants for their trucks. After reading the comments it seems this article has become a Japan bashing session. I am sure that the American workers are grateful for a Japanese company providing them jobs.



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