Toyota, Mazda Partner to Build New Plant

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Toyota and Mazda have entered into an agreement in which the former will take a 5 percent stake in the latter, with the most significant outcome being a new $1.6 billion U.S. production facility that will produce as many as 300,000 vehicles a year. Production would begin in 2021.

According to Reuters, the new facility could employ as many as 4,000 people. The surprise announcement Aug. 4 did not reveal where the automakers plan to build the plant or what vehicles are likely to be built there. However, given the fact that dealers have been clamoring for more mid-size Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks, it wouldn't surprise us if at least part of the plant is used to produce more Tacomas.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), Toyota has been looking for a way to combat the increased Tacoma competition from the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Honda Ridgeline. Additionally, a new Ford Ranger and Jeep pickup are set to enter the market in less than two years.

Currently Toyota's San Antonio plant is running at full tilt — building quite a few more Tacomas than Tundras — and its Mexico production plant is in the midst of production-expanding construction that will not be finished until early next year.

Cars.com photo above by Mark Williams; Manufacturer image below

 

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Comments

this is one of last week's hottest stories!

Actually, Mazda and Toyota have some mutual needs that can be met in terms of product development, and updating Toyota's stale catalog. It's hard to imagine how this will lead to a new Mazda pickup, apart perhaps from a re-badging of some Tacomas. A much more exciting prospect would be bringing a co-branded half ton truck to the US to replace the Tundra, and give Mazda dealers a non Ford half ton model to sell.

Might be fun!

If they are expanding the Taco plant in Mexico to be completed in 8 months, why would anyone think the new plant that may be completed in 4 years would build Taco's?

Maybe if Missouri becomes a RTW state this fall they can bid on it.

We are making America great again!!!!! I see many problems with Gm who make most of their stuff in Mexico now, specifically all the frames, which is why they rust so easy. Great point Papa.

What I find interesting is there is there is no mention of the Tundra. With increased capacity for the Tacoma by another plant, Tundra production can be increased by modestly reducing Tacoma production in San Antonio.

Does one get the feeling that the Tundra is the red-headed stepchild of Toyota?

@Dave

Great point! Missouri has really blossomed at a time when places like Ohio and Michigan have been struggling.

I’d love to see a major automaker locate in southwest Missouri down around Joplin or Springfield. Ditto the Kansas City area.

Before anybody makes fun of Joplin, don’t forget that one of the world’s largest and most successful companies is headquartered just a few miles south of there and it didn’t hurt their prospects at all.

Does one get the feeling that the Tundra is the red-headed stepchild of Toyota?
I do. The Tundra does nothing great and most everything mediocre. The Tundra constantly finishes dead last in most 1/2 ton truck shootouts. The only thing the Tundra has going for it is the Toyota name. It's resale value is all it has. Problem is you can get any of the big 3 1/2 tons with huge discounts so in the end you pay more for the Tundra even after resale.
JMO but once Ford gets their new Global Ranger into production, the Taco will see a big sales dip. Right now the GM twins are not selling all that well so the Taco is keeping the lead in sales.

Tundra is the red-headed stepchild of Toyota

@NoQDRTundra

Without a doubt! The bones are already there for a great pickup. Who knows why Toyota hasn't done more with it.

In other news:

Ford will build a class-exclusive regular cab Ranger.

Ford will build a class-exclusive regular cab Ranger. Posted by: redbloodedxy | Aug 8, 2017

All Ford needs to do is offer this model with a manual trans and a decent small V6.

If they updated the old Vulcan V6 three liter engine with aluminum heads an 21st century fuel injection they'd have a motor that can be cheaply built and offer practical buyers with a quality engine trans combo.

Of course, today's management at Ford is too smart for that.

The Tundra's only downside is it lacks a good fuel economy powertrain. The truck still sells 100k+ units annually with little to no incentives, compared to the big 3.

I feel like the Ram 1500 and Tundra are in the same boat, their premium engine (5.7 Hemi and 5.7 iForce) are both volume selling engines. where Ford and GM are mostly selling 2.7's and 5.3s. This results in the 5.7's not stacking up when it comes to performance of the 3.5/6.2.

What's really sad is in all of the half ton shoot-outs, the Ram 5.7 and Tundra 5.7 are basically running neck and neck with each other. Kinda disappointing for Ram, since it has more HP/TQ AND a 8 speed trans...

I took my 2016 Platinum Tundra on a 1,700 miles trip this summer from Missouri to Florida and I averaged 15.5-17 mpg (hand calculated). Which isn't bad considering it has a 3" lift with 34.5" tires loaded with vacation stuff. I think with a lift and oversized tires, majority of big 3 trucks would be getting the same MPG.

@Tyler

Toyota uses a very low rear gear in the Tundra, I suppose to boost trailer towing grunt. The low gear means lousy FE unless you don't mind holding the cruise control speeds to the 55 to 60 mph realm.

At milder Interstate speeds there's no reason the Tundra can't do ok on the highway, but the rear gear and the older engine design do it no favors.

There are claims that the Tundra is selling at capacity. The reality is, Toyota set out to sell 200K units a year.
But for some reason, Toyota changed gears and now only uses a single shared plant to produce the Tundra.

Papajim: Thanks for your feedback.

The current Ford Cyclone V6 [if they choose to use it] replaced the Vulcan and Duratech sixes, and is much better suited for modern fuel management systems.

My guess is Ford will utilize the new 3.3 liter version slated for the '18 F-150 as an option above the standard 4, but below the EcoBoost and PowerStroke options.

The current Ford Cyclone V6 [if they choose to use it] replaced the Vulcan and Duratech sixes, and is much better suited for modern fuel management systems. Posted by: redbloodedxy | Aug 8, 2017

@redbloodedxy

Understand about those facts, but the cost of the 3.0 Vulcan (to build) compares favorably with the Cyclone by a large margin.

For a Ranger regular cab work truck to survive it has to have a strong, cheaply built powertrain, and offer a manual trans option. The package I referred to fills that bill nicely and is a long lived practical powerplant.

@papajim

I'd agree, there is no reason why Toyota can't have the 5.7 motor get 20 highway. I think if they kept the same motor and just threw the 8 speed with a 3.92 rear end it would hit the 20 mpg mark.

I will say even with the 35's, my Tundra with 4.30 gears has MUCH better low end grunt then my buddies 2016 Silverado LT Z71 5.3/6 speed with 3.42s and gets comparable MPG towing (around 9-10). That 5.3 Silverado/6 speed is a complete dog compared to the Tundra towing the 26' tri-toon boat. And the tundra is handicapped in this comparison because it has 3.5" larger tires than the Silverado.

This partership should immediately re badge some Tacoma's as Mazdas and bring it to market before the Ranger. Ford fans are a lot like the Eveready bunny, except they are still waiting and waiting and waiting.........

I don't think Mazda will be selling pickups any time soon. It's not in their best interests right now.

If they were really interested in pickups, Mazda would be selling them all over the world. Instead, they are concentrating pickup sales to Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

There's a story online today that refers to new engine technology that Mazda and Toyota are humping: The idea of an internal combustion engine that combines the best aspects of gas & diesel engines. Has anybody else heard about it?

The author of the story says the engine had a compression ratio of 14 to 1.

I'm trying to get my head around the ways that a ultra high comp. ratio will help a gasoline engine be more fuel efficient.

The only thing that immediately comes to mind is that the higher compression allows for higher RPMs at normal atmospheric pressures.

Something like that would require VERY high octane, but ethanol rich blends would help help with that. The upper limits on this stuff are pretty well understood already so I'm still not sure why Mazda thinks it's important. Ask anybody who's built Indy Car engines or (piston) aircraft engines!

An engine needs extraordinary valve springs to offer an advantage above normal redlines. Waiting for more info.

@PapaJim, higher compression ratio gives you more power from the same amount of fuel. More of the fuel is burned, and you get more work out of that explosion inside of the cylinder.

Too much compression can lead to pre-detonation in the cylinder (aka engine knock), but most modern engines have sensors to detect this and subsequently regard the timing to where pre-detonation subsides. Higher octane fuel is harder to ignite, so is advantageous in a high-compression engine.

I'm not sure how they are getting around this with a 14:1 compression gasser. Maybe ceramic cylinders?

As for the valve springs....think "rotary valves"....

higher compression ratio gives you more power from the same amount of fuel. Posted by: Longboat | Aug 8, 2017

@Longboat

Really?

Please explain why. I'm not disagreeing, just curious how you get to that conclusion.

Another solid Toyota investment in the U.S., good job Toyota!

The Tundra is ugly, heavy, with plastic dominance. It needs to be discontinued and start all over from scratch.

Sounds like it will be more for cars than trucks. But who knows
http://amp.newsobserver.com/news/business/article166122317.html

Here is more info on the Mazda engine break through and why toyota could benefit from this team up
https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/08/mazda-says-its-made-a-long-awaited-breakthrough-in-engine-technology/

Who knows, maybe the Tacoma/Tundra will get this new HCCI engine tech... here's to hoping

You can buy a Mazda with a 13:1 compression ratio that runs on regular gas. Don't know how they do it.

You can buy a Mazda with a 13:1 compression ratio that runs on regular gas. Don't know how they do it. Posted by: Fredtheman | Aug 8, 2017

@Fredtheman

I bet they're optimizing the cam timing, and timing this spark with precision. Like you, I agree it's hard to imagine how you run unleaded regular with high compression and don't get some detonation. I'm still trying to understand what value you get from such a radical compression ratio in a passenger car engine.

Generally, engine builders want to optimize volumetric efficiency to get the most HP from an average sized engine. There are prices to be paid for that kind of gain, and I wonder how it helps in a motor that is expected to last past 100k miles.

@papajim. This was a four cyclinder that had that high compression ratio. A lot of four cyclinder engines from other OEM's have 12 to 1 and run on regular. I think the design of the combustion chamber has a lot to do with it along with the valve timing you mentioned.

@Fredtheman

If the engine is certified Flex Fuel E85 capable, then it should run great on blends like E20 to bump the octane. Unfortunately the more ethanol you run the less the FE.

Still trying to figure out why Mazda wants to go this route...

They are going to build electric cars at the new plant

If Ford is so great why are the used truck lots full of them? Never ever buy a new Ford. If you must always buy used they are a dime a dozen.

Interesting....i posted a huge informative post to PapaJim and it disappeared. Not typing it again.

Tl;Dr - you can vary compression, cam profile and timing around each other, but cylinder pressure is the ultimate product. Higher compression = more power from given amount of fuel, all else being equal. Think firecracker in tin can (high compression) vs firecracker in a barrel (low compression).

@longboat

I think we've all had the disappearing comment once or twice. Thanks for the try.

Re Compression and power output, agree about the tin can and barrel illustration, but there is a point of diminishing returns in regard to gasoline engines.

Today's NASCAR Monster Cup engines are running fuel injection and high ethanol/gas blends (95 to 5) if I understand correctly.

That should allow for good engine survival in a 500 mile race. Back when they were running the Sunoco blue racing gas the comp. ratio in those motors was maybe 12 or 13 to one. I have no idea what they're doing now in that regard.

Well, I posted another reply this morning, and it said it was posting (was in the pending post area), but has never appeared as a post. I give up.



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