Toyota Creates a Triple Threat to Keep Tacoma on Top

2018_Toyota_Tacoma_03_9DCD8497F8D6B388B21D3701C06F7B93073AC72E II

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that the Toyota Tacoma has been crushing the mid-size pickup truck class — for several years — in monthly and year-to-date sales. In fact, Toyota is on track to sell more than 200,000 Tacomas by year end, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

In 2017 the Tacoma was the class leader with a 44 percent market share grab and for 2018, so far, that number is 45 percent in a mid-size field that's likely to grow and certain to receive a lot of attention during the next 12 months as more trucks join the class.

According to Automotive News (subscription required), Toyota has big sales plans for the new 2020 Tacoma, using three factories to supply the almost-unquenchable consumer demand for the truck. So far this year, Toyota is selling an average of 20,000 mid-size pickups every month, that's a little less than double the Chevrolet Colorado, its nearest competitor. Toyota has been doing this by squeezing as much capacity as possible out of its main U.S. truck plant in San Antonio and making incremental upgrades during the last few years to its secondary plant in Tijuana, Mexico. But by next year, Toyota will bring online a whole new plant with a capacity to build about 100,000 pickups in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

Astute readers of our sales reports will notice that the Toyota Tundra, also produced at the San Antonio plant, is not selling as well as its mid-size sibling. That's due to a conscious decision by Toyota to produce as many Tacomas in San Antonio as possible, which comes at the expense of Tundra production. With the decision to turn the new Guanajuato Corolla plant into a Tacoma plant, Toyota seems to be setting itself up to compete with the coming wave of new mid-size pickups: Think Ford Ranger, Jeep Scrambler and possibly something from Hyundai or China. If you're an optimist, you might hope that more Tacomas means Toyota will drop the prices a little bit. However, from the data we've seen that seems unlikely since Tacomas have highest average transaction prices along with the highest used-vehicle residual values.

The only risk posed by Toyota's three-plant strategy is placing two of them in Mexico, with higher import tariffs a possibility, looming North American Free Trade Agreement issues, a new Mexican president and U.S.-Mexico political tensions created by illegal immigration. Regardless, it seems like Toyota is making a long-term play and the Tacoma (and possibly its buyers) could reap the benefits.

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Comments

The only risk posed by Toyota's three-plant strategy is placing two of them in Mexico, with higher import tariffs a possibility, looming North American Free Trade Agreement issues, a new Mexican president and U.S.-Mexico political tensions created by illegal immigration.

@PUTC

Letting the Tacoma displace so many shop-floor cycles in Texas means that Toyota (Corporate) is forgoing a lot of potential profit that would come their way if they sold more Tundra pickups---based on the idea that full size trucks offer more profit margin than midsize.

@Tony, Jeff and Rob

I hope it's ok for me to have an opinion. Please don't be offended.

Great to see this midsize churning out the volume. Personally, I'd prefer a Colorado over it for many reasons discussed.

Anyway, kind of getting tired of the excuse for not selling many of one model vs another, being CAPACITY. Maybe that's why they've turned off the spiket for the Tundra: because it just isn't selling. Same with the Ridgeline!

Reminds me too much of Ford's excuse for not getting into the midsize sooner based of their genius marketers saying there is no midsize market. Now they are getting out of cars to service mostly the truck market.

Lastly, I think many of these Japanese front ends are uglier than the American front ends. I mean, for cars at least, what were they thinking with the Juke and the Leaf. Which I thought were god awful ugly, but that's my opinion. It's such a subjective thing. Personally, I think things would be better if company's focused more on utility than the amount of effort that goes into front end looks. Let's put lipstick on a Pig. Ha.
Form should fit function, and aerodynamic form fits mpg function.

The only risk posed by Toyota's three-plant strategy is placing two of them in Mexico, with higher import tariffs a possibility, looming North American Free Trade Agreement issues, a new Mexican president and U.S.-Mexico political tensions created by illegal immigration.

@PUTC

Letting the Tacoma displace so many shop-floor cycles in Texas means that Toyota (Corporate) is forgoing a lot of potential profit that would come their way if they sold more Tundra pickups---based on the idea that full size trucks offer more profit margin than midsize.

@Tony, Jeff and Rob

I hope it's ok for me to have an opinion. Please don't be offended.

I don't agree with all of papajim comments but his first 2 comments are solid logic.

All we need is a little competition from Mahindra. Remember that debacle?

If a truck sits less than a month on the lot before getting sold, I call that success. Toyota's sit less than a month vs GM and Ford which sits so long, tires imprint on the tarmac lots.

Our state is going to vote on right to work in a couple months, Saw a Tundra at the gym today with stickers to vote down right to work, kind of funny on a truck that was NOT built by union workers. Plus not sure why the price oon the Taco's are as much if not more then the twins that ARE union made.

Dave- Tacomas cost what Toyora can get for them. Its that simple.

I think the Chevy screw up was not offering adaptive cruise, and get rid of that stupid step side bumper. I'd move to a truck if Chevy added that with the diesel or Toyota moved their diesel state side. Still waiting for a domestic diesel with adaptive cruise, tired of driving a tdi a7

I doubt that GM engineers spent a lot of time trying to calculate the features that would appeal to Audi A7 drivers...

Unless they put a diesel version out, I'll be looking at a ranger when I'm ready to trade the 2014 in.

@ jayme b miller Toyota knows how to disappoint and/or miss the ball. They failed with the garbage 3.5l. I bought a 2015 to keep the tried and tried 4.0. Toyota has had the market to themselves for too long.

Surprised after all the frame issues people are still buying these. I just replaced mine.

@Mario, you had frame issues? What year is your truck and do you happen to live in the rust belt?

Old, out dated, too expensive for old school rigs. Too many new systems coming soon for the 'old school' mentality of ''we are not going to upgraded since we sell so many of them' mentality. Japanese automakers have no concept of the American Market. The games they are playing with the Toyota Supra speaks miles to this. I am waiting for the 2020 Bronco personally...

The timing on this is odd. Ford's midsize is about to go on sale. Jeep will be coming out with a midsize in less than a year. Ram is talking seriously about a midsize. And there's plenty of chatter from other manufacturers about entering the market. In 2 years Toyota's share will probably be less, not more, than it is today.

For Americans, there is a certain level of brand loyalty and cognitive dissonance associated with many things, but especially vehicles.
Tacoma’s are more expensive, competitive but not outstanding, and have a spotty record of reliability. Yet they have a reputation for quality. Odd...
Don’t be dismayed my domestic friends, Ford sold train car loads of 6.0 and 6.4 Diesels, WELL after the Duramax debut, this feat of mental gynastics exists everywhere.
If Toyota can sell more Tacos, good for them.
But, the Tundra, it just isn’t taking off. That small-bore, Long-stroke 5.7 V8 is partially to blame. The rest is poor execution in a market where switching brands requires HUGE leaps of differentiation.
As far as the Ridgeline...it is kind of like a moped, or a rubenesque female. Fun, seemingly practical in some situations, but not what you want your friends to see you with.

Its hard to imagine the Taco's market share rising higher.

With the segment growing more crowded and the Ranger certain to sell in large volume and the new Frontier eventually coming (which could sell in volume in Renault ever got serious about it). To say nothing of fringe newcomer players to this segment like Hyundai, Jeep and maybe VW. Everyone currently present with a modern offering will be looking at smaller pieces of the pretend truck pie and those coming late to this party will never see rewards like those who were there the whole time.

This is mostly a move to allow San Antonio to build more Tundras. Toy makes more money on and sells a lot more Tacos and presently has to do that at the expense of Tundra. By freeing up Tundra production without slowing on Taco production Toy can actually (if it so chooses) get serious about the Tundra. Toyota is FAMEOUS for LONG term planning. This may be a calculated move in making the next generation Tundra the full size foreign competitor that has so far never been... or maybe a 3/4 ton Tundra...

In 2 years Toyota's share will probably be less, not more, than it is today...Posted by: Charlie | Jul 17, 2018

@Charlie,

Don't forget, the global economy is growing.

Prices for popular autos and trucks are rising. Toyota has been supply constrained during the last few years and missed a big opportunity in the North America market. They're addressing that.

Such a nicer truck compared to the gm crap that is out there now, congrats Toyota!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TNT, please stop, you know nothing about trucks as evident in your posts.

@ Fake TNTGMC

Ha....I'll take a ZR2 any day! Toyota needs to update this truck ASAP!

@ papajim

I think from MY posts, I do know a lot about vehicles in general. I'd suggest worrying about how much you pay for your own gas and no is else's!

Fake TNTGMC, I hate my truck, everyone knows that, my next one is a Toyota!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The REAL TNTGMC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TNT- get a clue, is that the best come back you have? My gas is cheap where I live, I pay .99/gallon

Papajim how much am I paying??

@tony

You're busted. And you're a joy-cuff

If you put Toyota in Mexico I will never buy another one or any toyota

Busted? Just asking you a simple question, usually you have all the answers

Maybe that's not the real papajim..

Toyota is always a quality car dealer. I am using Hilux car model and feel very satisfied, car is very strong with many gadgets. Especially reasonable price car is not too high.

@ papajim

I'm not here to argue with you. I have nothing against you, but be careful what you wish for?!?!

I just want to have conversations and debate a little instead of having some clown use others user names....
Its hard to see who is who...very annoying.

Crushing is a bit of a stretch. Let's not forget that the Ranger was selling > 200,000 for a number of years, and for some years > 300,000, before 2004. Where not to long after, Ford decided to remove the Ranger from its line of truck--only to be resurrected. With only one plant for assembly, Ford will not see the sales figures again for it.

TNT, just keep quiet and then people will not come after you. You are an easy target with all the crap that comes out of your mouth.

I now know why I can't stand the Nissan Leaf front end. It has ugly bulging eyes (headlights) that remind me of a Rock Cod fish, who's eyes bulge out when pulled from great depth quickly, during a fishing trip I had on a boat. Farallon Islands fishing spot off the San Francisco coast.

Nobody cares

In the interest of staying off topic...

The Leaf's "bulging" headlights actually serve a purpose.

By using them to create a bulge on the front side of the fender it helps to deflect air away from the side view mirrors contributing to a very low drag coefficient in the name of efficiency.

Like it or not... at least there is a reason for it that actually works.

Good to know Clit

I'm sure you have a leaf

My wife is having a brand new frame being installed on her 2004 Tacoma as I write this. Toyota stands behind there trucks etc: I had a1983 and a 1983 sr5 trucks made by Toyota and no weather would stop these little trucks. Best little trucks ever made. My buddy is still using the 83 on his farm and he said it's like having a tank!

Just keep quiet and people won't come after you

@ papa

What a hypocrite! You of all people should take your own advice!

Lots of FAKE papajim comments lately.

@Clint. Interesting. Thanks. Still UGLY. One would think their marketing department would use that fact to their advantage cause the Tesla doesn't have bulging eyes.
@Papajim (presumeably fake one). Someone cares, and added something intelligent.

@ Angelo
I'm pretty sure this is a truck website. Every comment from you is usually about your bike or complaining about trucks being too big. Maybe a leaf would be a good fit for you, should fit in your garage just fine

@Clint, 2018 Leaf has no Bulging Headlight.
@Dave, Leaf's bed is much too small. I'll try to get back on topic.

And the Tundra just keeps getting less competitive. No threat to full size from Toyota.

@ Angelo

Dave is just Jealous no worries

Unless Toyota is going to come out with an entirely new Tundra or start discounting the Tundra as much as the competition it would not make sense for Toyota to increase Tundra production. Toyota like Honda is adverse to discounting. It seems that eventually the Tacoma will reach a plateau in sales when the Ranger comes to market. Toyota does not have a monopoly on quality but Toyota has strong customer loyalty.

Here come all of the Toyota haters...

Toyota has a better plan than GM with their Coloraaado, and the numbers prove it.

Just remember GM failed and the government illegally bailed them out, think about it.

@Jeff S: Well put. Many think the Tacoma is the long standing king of the mid-size market, but the reality is, the Ranger dominated in prior to 2004, which was about the time Ford decided to ax the Ranger.
The Tundra is red-headed step child in Toyota's product lineup.

the government illegally bailed them out, think about it.
Posted by: oxi | Jul 18, 2018

@Oxi

Get help. There's more to life than murmuring about the bailout. Washington intervenes in all aspects of our lives (Obamacare?) and has a lousy record in most of these interventions.

That said, the GM bailout was a success---like it or not. There are small towns all over Michigan, Indiana and Ohio that would have been much worse off without the restructuring.

Don't ask me to defend it because it was wrong, but it did succeed in saving thousands of working class Americans from losing their homes and livelihoods.



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