A New Home for Toyota's Tacoma?

Toyota San Antonio 5 II

By Tim Esterdahl

Rumors are circulating that Toyota is looking to build a new production facility in Mexico. If Toyota decides to build a plant there, the odds are high that the Tacoma will leave San Antonio for Mexico, and Toyota will invest more into Tundra production in Texas.

Automotive News is reporting that Toyota is scouting locations in Mexico with hopes of finding a suitable place to build a plant. Mexico offers many advantages to foreign manufacturers including lower labor costs, land costs and, through the North American Free Trade Act, a free pass on the so-called "chicken tax." The chicken tax is a 25 percent surcharge on trucks imported into the U.S. NAFTA excludes Mexico from the tax.

While we don't know for sure that Toyota would build a Tacoma in Mexico, it makes the most sense. Currently Toyota's truck division is facing problems keeping up with demand according to several company representatives. In fact, the recent drop in Tacoma sales has largely been attributed to Toyota focusing on building more of its full-size Tundras.

Toyota has also said it is leery about making a large investment in the San Antonio facility due to the various problems it had building the plant and the recession destroying its sales projections.

This makes a Mexico plant much more viable for several reasons. First, building a plant in Mexico is a much lower investment. Second, Toyota could decide to build the plant as a general truck facility with plans to also build the midsize Hilux sold outside the U.S. This also makes sense since manufacturers are keen on streamlining parts and design processes. Building a new Hilux and Tacoma on a shared platform would result in real-world financial savings. Third, Toyota wants to build more Tundra pickups and could even be considering offering a diesel and/or heavy-duty model. With the Tacoma built somewhere else, the door is open for these possibilities to happen.

Toyota is historically tight lipped about future plans and this is just one possibility. If Toyota goes forward with another truck plant, it will be a worrisome development for all of the other truckmakers.

Manufacturer image (above); Cars.com image by Mark Williams (below)

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It's all upside for Toyota. Their buyers could care less about made in USA and all that.

Cheaper production costs should eventually calculate to more competitive retails.

Just put it out of it's misery already and give us the Hilux. The Tacoma has become so watered down and useless compared to its global counterpart, just put out to pasture already. The Hilux tows more, hauls more, is better offroad even without the "stickers and shocks" offroad packages offered on the US vehicles, looks better, drives better, and gets worlds better fuel economy to boot.

The Hulix does not fit the US market, the Tacoma does.

@Jack how is that? Says who?

In any relevant comparison the Holux beats the Tacoma, and is the same size/price. It has been that way since the two stopped using the same platform/sheet metal back in 1998 or so.

(I have driven multiple generations of both).

Fuel economy: Hilux wins by a landslide

On Road driving: a draw, I give the win to the Hiilux but if Im being honest it was better equipped than any Tacoma I have driven so that biases me.

Offroad driving: I did a lot of it and the Hilux wins walking away, gears are lower, diesel has more torque, and my Hilux had no offroad package, was bone stock, the Tacoma I compared it to was a TRD.

Looks: beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think the global trucks look way better than anything sold here, much cleaner lines.

And, if you want to work it hard, the Hilux will put a lot of half tons to shame, tows close to 7000lbs and can haul 3500lbs in the bed.

So it doesnt fit in the US? Because it does everything the average user wants their Tacoma to do better than the Tacoma? Because it costs the same? Because it looks better?

You tell me

Does that Taco come with Salsa?

@Frank--The Mexican version does. Very Hot Salsa!!

I wonder what Toyota salesman/ saleswoman Hemi lol will say about Toyota moving them there, so Toyota can save money?

This jives with my comment on the "Fastest Sellers in August" story, which shows a Tacoma to be the fast seller, but it's days on the lot are few because production is down ( maybe so they can work on building their 5th place out of 6 full sizer.)

Because if the Tacoma was such a good seller, their numbers would be up, instead of down.

You can buy a pretty good full size (as opposed to an overpriced Tundra) for The amount of money you would spend on a Tacoma.

Tacoma crewcabs are already made in Mexico.

It will be interesting to see how oxi spins his "I buy final assembly location and that means made in the U.S.A." to us "rednecks" should he ever show his face around here again.

oxi, where you at, dog?

I got out of my Tacoma after the a/c quit and they couldn't/wouldn't fix it after 4 times. Glad to be back in a Z71! Toyota trucks ain't what they used to be.

It's couldn't care less. If they could care less it wouldn't make sense. People just couldn't care less. I couldn't (could not) care any less than I do about most of the comments I read here...that's why I usually read the articles and skip the commentary.

Rumors are circulating that Toyota is looking to build a new production facility in Mexico....Automotive News is reporting that Toyota is scouting locations in Mexico with hopes of finding a suitable place to build a plant." - Tim Esterdahl

But the Auto News piece said nothing about Toyota looking to build a new Taco plant or in Mexico.

This is just Tim E the editor at Tundra Headquarters trying to get Toyota pickups into the news again on pickuptrucks.com

Aint got no real Toyota truck news so just make it up.

My next truck will be a F150 and one of the MAIN reasons is because it is built in America, and I take pride in supporting our workers. As a nation we continue to support manufacturing in Mexico costing thousands and thousands of U.S. jobs. Meanwhile their government shows NO respect or appreciation by retaining one of our decorated Marines in jail for accidentally crossing over the border. Oh, all while 140k illegal immigrants cross over from Mexico to the U.S. this year alone. Granted they are not all from Mexico, but Mexico is allowing it. I will always buy American given the chance, even if it costs a little more. Love the RAM but as long as it is built in Mexico, Ford will have my business.

If we go back to the supposition that the next Tacoma and Hilux would be based on the same bones, then it would make sense to build trucks for the US/Canada market and the Americas south of the R Grande in one location. Customers don't seem to mind that the highest content trucks come from south of the border.

Hey Scott H

YOU better not buy a Ford then, they have the most Mexican made vehicles on the road lol Fusion and the F150

And you wont, it's the most American vehicle made. Typical uninformed toyyoda fanboi.

@Jim - there are different outlets reporting the same story but no one is confirming which model is going to be built there. Toyota does need more capacity and it is just a matter of time.

here you go


look down toward the bottom at the fact that they were at least producing F150's through 2012........... think what you want they cover some of this stuff up......

BTW the 6.7 Diesel is built Hecho en mexico too..

I've been to that plant- pretty neat the versions of trucks they get down there. Older generation stuff, with smaller wheel sizes and such. they made an F250 badged RC/SB 10th gen truck down there- everything as cheap and bare-bones as possible. I don't think any of the trucks were for US consumers.

@ papa jim

Funny you should say that as the Tundra has higher domestic content then your beloved GMT 1500's. I guess it is you who doesn't care about that.

@ScottH (AKA RAZOR?): since you are talking about an F-150, were you saying you like the Ram in general, or the 1500 Ram? The only 1500 Ram built in Mexico is a regular cab. Crew and Quad cab 1500s are made in Warren, Michigan.

Toyota already builds for Mazda in Mexico.

There are no F-150's made in Mexico. Zilch. Nada. Cuautitlán built some lobos and Lincoln version long bed Mark LT's for Mexico. Dearborn built the short beds LT.

As the 2015 F-Series is introduced, there is no current Lincoln version announced for either the United States or Mexico; therefore, the 2014 model year is the last for the Mark LT.

The 6.7 diesel is just the engine. All Super Duty assembly is in Kentucky. F-150 is the most American so hemi lol is factually wrong. Never trust a salesman to give you correct info.

I care about about my Tundra and its main components being made in the USA, not Canada/Mexico, very much. That was a large factor in my decision back in 2008.

"My next truck will be a F150 and one of the MAIN reasons is because it is built in America, and I take pride in supporting our workers.
Posted by: ScottH | Sep 11, 2014 2:00:29 PM"

Don't forget you support India Aluminum with your next purchase.


You will smell curry all around you.

Don't forget when you buy a ram you are supporting fiat.

Funny thing about buy "American", all the trucks end up parked in Walmarts parking lot while owners are shopping......now there is supporting American jobs....pwwft.

I agree with Jim. Tundraheadquarters is known mostly for overreaching on blogs and using speculation, and nobody said it was going to be Tacoma.

Don't forget when you buy a ram you are supporting fiat.

Posted by: Tail Gate | Sep 11, 2014 5:37:06 PM

It's even better. My first car was Fiat 127. Car of the year.
At least Fiat is not killing RAM like Daimler did.

I agree with Jim. Tundraheadquarters is known mostly for speculation posts, and nobody said it was going to be Tacoma.

I am pleased, that somebody is using my nick.
I am ok with that, as long as you don't say something nice about ford. LOL.

@papa jim you sir can be an idiot

The F-150 is the most American Made pickup, but you get no respect by owning one!
The F-150 is B-O-R-I-N-G like a pair of socks, everybody wears socks!
The Ram is sexy and exciting and gets respect. People look up to you as a success when you own a Ram plus you look good driving a Ram.
The F-150 is an outdated-old man truck!

The current Hilux is the "dunce" of the current crop of Global Pickups. They all can haul better and are much better off road and on road, the old Hilux is roughly 9 yrs old and feels like it.. So when the NEW Hilux arrives, it will be by all reports something else
Anyway the Global Pickup Wars will be something else, with all the new vehicles emerging.
As PUTC covers Vans, IVECO has released the Daily. It has 8000 different possible combinations and the vehicle range had 80% new parts.
Top of The Range 70c Cab Chassis Model, has the ZF 8 speed Auto transmission, a GVWR of 15,400lbs and a Payload of 10,300lbs


@Robert Ryan... I wasn't talking about Hilux vs other global trucks, I was talking about Hilux vs watered down sister the Tacoma. People said it doesnt fit here and I asked why? given that it is better in just about every regard vs the Tacoma. I cant wait for the GM Colorado to come here. I will be in the market for a new truck just about the time they start selling them with a diesel, I cant wait! Heck I might even wait one year more, all the direct competitors have a solid Global truck to compete here, so if the Colorado/Canyon is a smash hit they already have somethign to offer. I would be tickled to death if we got the next gen Hilux or a Global Ranger/BT50 sold here. Actually what I really want is a 70series Landcruiser but hell will freeze over here before that happens. Those things are bruisers.

L70 very common here. The Colorado you will get will be much a watered down version of any Global versions, although fuel economy will be the best aspect.

What would be my concern regarding any future US light commercial is the strength of the chassis.

CAFE is forcing lighter and lighter vehicles. Lightness can and will come at the cost of the durability aspect of the vehicle.

Aircraft are extremely strong, but they are very susceptible to damage affecting strength.

The US Hilux wouldn't be like our Hilux, it will look similar and have similar dimensions across the board, but it will not have the same durability.

The new F-150 chassis could pose itself as a problem and the same as the new Colorado chassis.

They will have the strength to perform adequately under normal use. But how many times have you witnessed a person overloading or abusing a vehicle off road.

I would be quit wary of what going on underneath my future vehicle.

Even the Fiat Ram has a relatively low rating for work. I do know the suspension is soft. But this new lightness in the Ram has shown the suspension has been overworked.

I would like to know if the problems with the Ram were caused by the over travel of the suspension due to overloading.

@astroturf Tom #3 - your advertising for Ram gets less subtle each time you post.

The J!had is pleased.

The sleeper cell has awoken. LOL

My 2012 crew cab was made in Mexico it was a total pos, these trucks are not what they used to be, IMO poor quality. I took a leap of faith purchasing this truck it was a big mistake. I traded it in on a 2013 f-150 FX4 and I never looked back. And it's a shame because I really did like the size of the truck for everyday use.

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