Toyota Adds Shift to Mexico Plant for Tacoma

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Just last week, we reported we've been hearing rumors about Toyota moving all of its Tacoma production to its Baja California plant just south of Tijuana, Mexico.

Now comes word that the plant, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, is bumping up its Tacoma production by adding 300 jobs to accommodate a third shift. So far there's been no announcement that the physical size of the plant will change, but yearly production of Tacoma models will jump from 63,000 to 80,000 units with the added shift.

According to Automotive News, the reasoning for the production move to Mexico has to do with the fact that year-to-date Tacoma sales are down slightly and Tundra (currently built at the San Antonio production facility along with the Tacoma) sales are up by almost 10 percent. This decision will allow more Tundras to get to market to meet demand and allow the Baja plant to run more efficiently.

Toyota has been researching the possibility of building another production plant in Mexico for almost two years, but no decision is likely to be made for quite a while.

GM also announced this week that it will add a third shift to the Wentzville, Mo., plant that has already begun production and shipments of the new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Although both Toyota and GM are committed to the midsize segment, there is still much uncertainty as to how new or traditional truck customers will embrace the offerings.

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"So far there's been no announcement that the physical size of the plant will change, but yearly production of Tacoma models will jump from 63,000 to 80,000 units with the added shift.

According to Automotive News, the reasoning for the production move to Mexico has to do with the fact that year-to-date Tacoma sales are down slightly and Tundra (currently built at the San Antonio production facility along with the Tacoma) sales are up by almost 10 percent"


I am confused. The article says Tacoma sales are down, yet they want to increase production by 26%, does this make sense?

I can understand Toyota wanting to build more Tundras, but as far as the Tacoma is concerned, they need a big revamp if they expect to sell significantly more Tacoma's.

If they can sell 20,000 more Tacoma's than they are selling right now without doing anything to them, then that would be the big news of the year.

...there is still much uncertainty as to how new or traditional truck customers will embrace the offerings.


It all comes down to packaging and price. The winner in that aspect will be the big winner.

Demand for GM's new midsize pickups uncertain

Nobody knows how much demand there is for smaller pickups. Ford and Chrysler have both abandoned the segment. Honda says it will build a new version of the Ridgeline, despite the fact that its innovative midsize pickup never lived up to expectations. Honda sold just 17,723 sales last year, according to Autodata. The main players are the aging Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. They sold a combined 175,569 units in 2014, a drop in the bucket compared to full-size pickups like the F-150 and Silverado.

"There's a great question about how big the market for smaller pickups will be," Autotrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs said. "GM is probably taking the right approach by going after active lifestyle buyers rather than trying to convert full-size pickup owners, but we don't know if those people will leave their SUVs for the new midsize pickups."

The midsize pickups will cost less and be easier to park than their full-size cousins. The improvement in fuel economy will be unspectacular

Toyota was reading here on PUTC all the great and wonderful things we were saying about the 2015 Colorado-Canyon and they went into a panic and said: "Lets flood the market with Tacoma's so we can compete with the Colorado-Canyon"
At the Toyota Big Board Meeting: "hey boys this Colorado-Canyon means business, its better and better priced, we are in trouble with the Tacoma"

what? Honda reads Consumer Reports, that's Honda's Bible!
If Consumer Reports tells Honda to "jump" Honda says: "how high" so I bet Toyota reads the leading consumer experts on pickup trucks, PUTC !

It would funny if both GM,Nissan and Toyota dropped down to only about 50,000 units a year each for their midsize trucks.

I do think Toyota is lying, to a degree.

It's moving it's production so the next Tacoma can be made in Mexico. I do think your average pickup buyer doesn't care where the pickup is made as papa jim pointed out.

When the Colorado is released you will see the drop in price by Toyota for the Tacoma.

Here in Australia Toyota upgraded the Hilux by offering different gearboxes, trim, etc when the new breed of midsizer came out.

@Big Al from Oz - "Here in Australia Toyota upgraded the Hilux by offering different gearboxes, trim, etc when the new breed of midsizer came out..."

Thanks for the info all we need to do is find someone who gives a crap about what's happening in Australia!

@ Ram Big Horn
We had a similar situation here in Australia.

We had an increase in ute sales and the sales had to come from somewhere.

Most here in PUTC seem to compare midsizers to full size and view them as competition. But yet you don't view full size 1/2 tons as competition to a HD. This I find odd.

Midsize sales like here will come from potential SUV and CUV buyers. For whatever reasons the US manufacturers reduced midsize competition. I would think it has something to do with profit, not consumer choice.

The US market for full size trucks was partially created similar in fashion to the Japanese Kei car and the French small diesel car.

Toyota and Nissan will continue to sell reasonable numbers of Frontiers and Taco's. They will reduce the priced of them to maintain numbers.

I think the Colorado will be very competitive against the Taco and Frontier and will take some sales away. But not as you are suggesting.

It would be good to import some pickups into the US to see what the market wants. With the chicken tax it is unprofitable to build limited numbers of pickups by the manufacturers.

VW even stated that it isn't going to provide Amarok's to the US because it's to large a gamble to build a factory and it can't import them because of the chicken tax.

@Rolling Beer Can,
It's not what happens in Australia, its what Toyota will do in the US to maintain it's Taco numbers.

Toyota will upgrade the Taco with bling and drop the price like it did here to try and maintain market share.

I think Toyota is shifting the production of the Tacoma to the Mexican plant to free up production in San Antonio for more Tundras, Toyota just will not admit it. Nothing wrong with Toyota moving Tacoma to Mexico but they don't want to admit that they are doing it now. I also could see where Big Al is correct that Toyota will add more bling and lower the price of the Tacoma to buy them time to get a new midsize truck to market (Nissan will probably do the same with the Frontier). If I were Toyota that is what I would do and then fast track a new model. Toyota has updated the Camry for 2015 instead of waiting for 2017 (Camry has been on a 5 year product cycle but competition has forced them to make the refresh sooner).

But, will there be a demand for extra Tacomas?
With the new GMs coming out, Ford is dropping weight and at present people are realizing GM and Ram full sizes are getting the same or better mileage with a more capable power train.

STOP defending these morons in the corporate offices that could care less about the U.S. worker!
I buy final assembly location and that means my last 2 Tacoma's were made in the U.S.A. by union UAW labor. To you rednecks, that is AMERICAN MADE TOYOTA!!!

Posted by: oxi | Jan 5, 2012 2:04:08 PM

@oxi, I hope they move all of your beloved Taco access cab production to Mexico!

Is Toyota planning to ramp up production of the Tacoma to engage GM in a discount war?

Vehicles assembled in Mexico tend to be better built and have better final quality then then teh same models built in the US. No UAW equals a better product.

Make great deals, flood the market with Tacomas. Who will need the Colorado and Canyon. It will be a price war.

usually when they expand the plants, new model is coming... so likely all new Tacoma is coming next year.

Another one one of oxi's classic I buy made in the USA/only support American workers rants:

@Buy American Or Say Bye To America!,

No you are wrong!

You would still buy from GM even if they had all of their plants abroad but kept that corporate HQ right in the U.S.!

That is what is going on today, companies like GE for example reap billions in profits not from U.S. operations but abroad while they close plants here in the U.S. for Chinese plants but you will wave the flag for them because they are profitable YET they eliminate thousands of U.S. jobs to make those profits from foreign operations simply because they have their HQ within the U.S.!

My last 2 Tacoma's were MADE IN THE U.S. supporting thousands of high paying jobs. I am damn proud of that depite the label of Toyota on it!

I am not supporting the corporate goons anymore and large shareholders. I am supporting the people that actually build the vehicles these days making sure they have a paycheck!

Posted by: oxi | Oct 2, 2011 1:12:18 PM

oxi and some others going to have to change their tune if Toyota goes Mexico. I suspect these Toyota loyalists will do a 180 like some others are starting to do and say Mexican made in better and Made in the USA is worse.

More Tacoma is made in the USA/you're a racist hater rants from expedition aka oxi:

I'm a Ford fan but would be happy with a Chevy or a Ram. That's how good the segment is. I just can't bring myself to by a Japanese truck. Good trucks just can't pull the trigger. An American pride thing I guess. That puts Ram on the edge.

Posted by: Southern IL man | Dec 12, 2013 5:49:55 PM

@Southern IL man,

Toyota Tundra and Tacoma's are made in the USA! So why do you have a beef with "American" workers? Why are you selective to ceratin "American" workers over others?

It's like the Toyota Camry, the most "American" made car on the market!

Racism is alive and well in this nation that was created by FOREIGNERS and IMMIGRANTS!

Posted by: expedition | Dec 12, 2013 8:55:24 PM

If Toyota, Nissan want base their companies here than I would consider their products.
Every nation was started by foreigners and immigrants so whats your point?
Mankind began in what is now Iraq but I guess I'll get beat up for believing in the Bible also.
Mankind eventually occupied the world as we know it.
Your a little to sensitive their dude.

Posted by: Southern IL man | Dec 12, 2013 10:14:11 PM

@expedition, A lot of Tacomas are made in Mexico. Upwards of half of the crewcabs are made in Mexico.

Posted by: Jason | Dec 12, 2013 10:57:18 PM

@Southern IL man,

And you are a bit racist with your views but I would say more hyprcrite is you ask me!

I am sure shareholders of GM, Ford and that Italian based company have FOREIGN ownership by them buying shares making them part foreign.

Their is NO 100% U.S. produced pickup nor a 100% U.S. based auto company (foreign ownership of shares) so what now, are you going to set personal limits on how many shares, etc...

Folks like you also put down those foreign based companies according to you but have 100% foreign electronics in your home and 100% forein made clothes and underwear! What say you?

If you are going to pull that "racist" bash foreign named vehicles that are really U.S. made argument, you better be practicing that in your home likewise!

Posted by: expedition | Dec 13, 2013 8:22:03 PM


The largest auto importers into the U.S. (I read a while back) was GM number 1 followed by that Italian company at number 2 and Ford at number 3.

Sorry Canada and Mexico do not fly our flag!

So before you go after Toyota, find out who the real auto importers are!

Posted by: expedition | Dec 13, 2013 8:28:47 PM

Looks like Oxi is really reaching.

Lets wrap ourselves or our favorite brand in the American flag.

How original.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Dec 14, 2013 12:39:26 AM

@Lou and Jason,

The REAL importer is not Toyota. The Tacoma is made in the USA in San Antoni Texas! Wrap yourself in stupidity. expedition will not stoop to your level...

Posted by: jake | Dec 15, 2013 10:14:34 AM

@jakes - that is why he posts under your name.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Dec 15, 2013 2:55:07 PM

I don't care what truck gets what award! Its always fixed in any award that the same truck that got the award last year never wins again the following year. They simply take turns. The make of truck is regional on what part of the country you live in. Certain parts of the country favor a certain make of truck. I live in a Dodge Ram part of the country but I own a Ford F-150, yea, I get harassed and picked on cause I drive a F-150 but it doesn't bother me cause I got $12K off sticker price and they didn't on the Ram. Not knocking the Ram, my first choice was the Ram, but I couldn't walk away on that discount on a F-150

Posted by: Tom | Dec 16, 2013 2:30:09 AM

Which ever truck is the newest for that year, there is your winner. This year the Silverado, next year the Ford, next year after that the RAM, repeat. This way whoever is got the newest redesigned truck can brag about it for the first year of sales. This way it all stays even. Ford will always outsell GM trucks and RAM will get closer to GM trucks every year. Toyota will be the bottom feeder on their truck as their Camry will dominate car sales. The real winner is the final sales numbers. Ford has that nailed.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 22, 2013 4:41:28 PM

Toyota might be a Japanese brand but it employs a lot of American workers. Ford and Chevy have moved some of their factories to Mexico due to lower employment expense and less environmental restrictions. I love the new RAM design...go RAM.

Posted by: jab | Jan 23, 2014 2:32:05 PM

@DiM/Mike and all of your aliases,
Have a read of this link.

All u Americans keep buying these foreign built trucks. Absolutely amazes me.

Spied! oxi's truck has ramps on the roof and camo leaves now:[user]=13774772&filters[recent]=1&filters[publicOnly]=1&sort=1&o=0

These are some of the new trails oxi is off-roading on...[user]=13774772&filters[recent]=1&filters[publicOnly]=1&sort=1&o=12

too many people that don't need a pickup truck are buying pickup trucks and that's making us look bad. The ONLY reason the Tacoma sells is because its always rated high in reliability, NOT because of its ability and styling, I personally look at the Tacoma as a fragile toy pickup like if you drop it, it breaks.
The Tacoma doesn't win any races, has the worst 0-60 times, poor gas mileage, no interior room, the seats are so low feels like you are sitting on the floor, pathetic hauling and towing.
Hasn't been updated since 2005, both the V6 and 4 cyl engines sound rough, sound cheap.
The past 5 years Tacoma's had problems with rust, chipping chrome bumpers, rear axle bearings-seals, heater motors, clutch throw out bearings, weak rear leaf springs.

tug-a-war contest Tacoma vs Colorado

Maybe Toyota due to their build it just enough to sell is afraid of getting embarrassed. This truck does have the 10 day lot average. If the GM midsize pulls buyer from Toyota that 10 day average is going to shoot up.

So, Toyota in an effort to combat that they are adding a shift to flood their dealers with more trucks and will use that as the excuse.

The problem with that is the midsize market will not have grown but instead just trading customers from one midsize to another midsize which will beg the question where are all those pent up buyers?

Expect huge incentives on the GM midsize trucks by Christmas or right after new years at the latest.

Why all this hate toward Toyota, I am not a Toyota fan but what is wrong with a foreign based corporation manufacturing products in the US, Mexico, and Canada and employing locals. Should I tell my neighbor who has worked for Toyota as an engineer for over 30 years that he is not a true American for working for a Japanese corporation who is manufacturing in the US and employing citizens of the US? Is a Japanese truck made in TEXAS by TEXANS less American than a Ram made in the US or Mexico made by an Italian corporation? I guess since the Supreme Court has declared Corporations with the same rights as individual citizens some might think that a US based corporation owes the same allegiance to the United States as an individual citizen. A corporation is a business that has been incorporated to limit liability and protect its assets. I am grateful we have an economy that is desirable enough for a foreign based corporation to invest capital to produce products and employ citizens of the United States of America.

I bet some of these Ram fan boys would change their tune if Ram was producing and selling a midsize truck. I am glad they like their brand but blind loyalty to a product produces subjectivity. Someone who is only interested in Rams is not ever going to consider another brand regardless of price, quality, or features. We get that you like Ram and that is your choice but don't act like your comments are objective.

I personally don't hate toyota, even though I wouldn't buy one myself due to having a troublesome one in the past. What I do dislike is the perception that toyota is far and away more reliable than other brands. This is utter nonsense. Add to that resale value. If someone is willing to pay more for a used vehicle whose parts are more expensive and yet has equal or less reliability, that's their folly. Fact is, all vehicles today have remarkably similar numbers of problems per 100 vehicles.

I don't hate Toyota either but I do think they are living on their past reputation. The competition has caught up and makes more up-to-date products. I am glad that Toyota has plants in the USA and employs workers. I also don't mind a vehicle being made in anywhere in North America.

I don't hate Toyota, I just hate the local Toyota Dealer! I think Toyota should do a better job picking and choosing the dealers.

Jeff S
If Ram did make a mini pickup what would they name it?
How about "Ram 75", or "Lamb", or "Baby Hemi" ?

How about Ramboy?

Ram 750 is most likely:

"Speculation about a Ram small truck based on the Fiat Strada has been rampant recently, and it looks like Ram is getting ready to move in that direction for the Mexican market.

A Brazilian outlet is reporting that the Strada will be sold in Mexico as the Ram 750. The 750 will be offered in both single and double cab configurations and powered by small 4-cylinder engines.

Perhaps these were the Strada mules being tested around Detroit, and there were never any plans to bring a small truck to the United States. With UNECE rules and a totally different set of market conditions (as well as no chicken tax), Mexico is a much better place to import a small, front-drive car-based pickup than the United States. Or maybe FCA will surprise us all?"

I would think FCA does have something up their sleeves.

Like you said a FWD car based ute. It would suit a niche market or maybe a little larger.

@Tom 3--Bama Rama which is Italian for small goat.

@Tom 3--The Toyota dealerships near me are as you described, the last place I would ever buy anything from.

Increasing Baja production makes sense, if combined with reduced demand, they can then shut down a Tacoma line in Tx. San Antonio was supposed to build 300k units/year, but they've never come close to that. When the next Hilux and Tacoma both derive from the same platform, Toyota would do well to build both in one place for all of North and South America. Thanks to Bubba Clinton, that place is Mexico.
OTOH, is Toyota Baja can barely make 80k units on 3 shifts, no way could they support production of both vehicles for all American markets. The most likely scenario will be to build all available Tacomas in Mexico while TMMTX gets re-tooled for the next gen Tacoma. IN the mean time inventories will be almost non-existent, and nicely match customers holding out for the new model.

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